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Third Staff Draft of Delta Plan Released April 22 - Council Focuses on Second Staff Draft During March Meeting

April 2011

The third staff draft of the Delta Plan will be evaluated at the April 28-29 meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council. Meanwhile, at the March meeting the second staff draft was thoroughly discussed and debated.

During nearly eight hours of dialogue, the Council evaluated each of the policies and recommendations, examining areas such as governance, adaptive management, ecosystem restoration, water quality, flood protection and the Delta as an evolving place. The Council members then offered suggestions and revisions to inform the DSC staff on how to construct future iterations of the draft plan.

Many of the suggestions were contextual or definitional in nature. For instance, Council Chair Phil Isenberg suggested that staff members include an opening statement for each recommendation to make the document easier to understand. Council member Hank Nordhoff suggested that the plan note the difference between a levee and a dike to help define flood protection areas.

Other revisions were larger in scale. Council Vice Chair Randy Fiorini noted the need for clarity when discussing possible future water storage facilities. He said that while in his opinion new and better water storage facilities are part of the solution, they are not a silver bullet that will solve all of the Delta’s problems.

“It’d be very easy to parachute into this conversation and say, ‘They think storage will solve all the problems,’” Fiorini said. “This is a wicked set of problems that will require a comprehensive set of solutions and storage is one of them. Anyone who over-simplifies the solutions to what we are facing is not very well informed.”


Council member Felicia Marcus applauded the statewide approach of the second draft but reminded staff members of the importance of outlining regional challenges.

“This is a very regional, patchwork puzzle. It’s not a one-size fits all for the state of California,” Marcus said. “If we as a Council can highlight regional challenges and opportunities, that is going to be a big step forward.”

DSC staff members will incorporate this feedback from the Council as they construct the third staff draft of the Delta Plan, along with input from the Delta Independent Science Board as well comments from the public. An ambitious set of materials are planned to be added to the third staff draft due to be release on April 22. Those materials include:

• Further development of the Finance chapter with a more fully developed finance plan
• Targets and performance measures for proposed policies
• Revised “Findings” based on Delta ISB comment• An edited version of the narrative from the first staff draft
• A fusion of findings from draft one and regulatory policies and recommendations from draft two
• Maps, charts and graphics to more clearly explain the findings and regulatory policies

To view the Second Staff Draft, click here.

Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)