Much of the work to implement the state’s coequal goals for the Delta will require a collaborative effort between state, federal and local agencies and stakeholders. With its Delta Plan adopted, the Delta Stewardship Council (Council) is now ready to convene a committee of agencies responsible for implementing the Delta Plan, as required by the Delta Reform Act (Water Code Section85204).
“The Council intends the Committee to serve as a forum to discuss, evaluate and orchestrate the timely and orderly implementation of actions consistent with the 14 policies and 73 recommendations outlined in the Delta Plan,” said Taryn Ravazzini, the Council’s Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee (DPIIC) coordinator. “Not a voting body, the Committee will be a forum for capturing and communicating the range of views, approaches and priorities of the implementing agencies while being committed to facilitating achievement of the coequal goals.”
The inaugural meeting of the DPIIC is set for 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 100 Capitol Mall, Sacramento. The public is invited and the event will be webcast.
“Working closely with our federal and state partners is our highest priority and the timing could not be more critical,” said Council and DPIIC Chair Randy Fiorini. “The upcoming Committee meeting will be a significant event highlighting multi-agency cooperation toward achieving the goals of water supply reliability for the state and ecosystem restoration and health in the Delta. A crisis such as the current drought is when the coequal goals will be challenged the most and serves as a reminder of why we must maintain momentum on long-term planning and investment," he said.
On December 19, 2013, the Council identified a core group of state and federal agencies that play a key role in implementation based on their Lead and Supporting Agency status within the Delta Plan, responsibility for multiple areas of the Plan, and ability to provide leadership, resources, staff and funding for collaborative implementation efforts as dictated by the specific matter or subject area in the Delta Plan. The Council further determined that participation by the core member agencies will continue the essential federal-state partnership so critical to furthering the coequal goals. They are:
• CA Natural Resources Agency
• CA Department of Water Resources
• CA Department of Fish and Wildlife
• Delta Protection Commission
• Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy
• State Water Resources Control Board
• Central Valley Flood Protection Board
• CA Environmental Protection Agency
• CA Department of Food and Agriculture
• U.S. Department of the Interior
• U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
• NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
• U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The tentative April 9 agenda has the participants discussing: 1) their shared challenges around improving water supply reliability and ecosystem health; 2) what's being done in the Delta; 3) how the agencies are coordinating and collaborating; 4) where challenges to progress exist; and 5) the present potential to help shape and synthesize the scope of future policy.
“A key discussion item will also be the complementary aspects to the Federal Investments for the California Bay-Delta Region, the California Water Action Plan, and the Council’s Delta Plan,” said Ravazzini. “This intersection of federal and state efforts when time and resources could benefit greatly from increased coordination presents a fitting use of the Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee venue.”