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Council Focuses on Third Staff Draft During May Meeting

May 2011

Working through problem statements, policy principles and recommendations, and performance measures, the Delta Stewardship completed a meticulous review of the third draft Delta Plan over four days of meetings in April and May.

The Council worked through all nine chapters of the staff draft in great depth and offered valuable insight on issues such as: the scope and goal of the plan, adaptive management, governance, water supply reliability, water quality, the Delta ecosystem and the Delta as a unique cultural place, among others.

When adopted by the Council in final form in November, the Delta Plan will be a legally enforceable document that will guide state and local agencies to achieve the coequal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring and enhancing the Delta ecosystem.

In order to create it, Council staff will complete five drafts before the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is completed by the end of June.

The first staff draft presented findings. The second draft provided recommendations and regulations. The third draft has blended the two while adding context, examples and historical background information in each chapter.

“This is the first time you get to see all the elements, if not working perfectly together, in one place at one time,” Council Chair PQuotehil Isenberg said.

Thanks to specific guidance from Council members, the Delta Independent Science Board, water experts and members of the public, the third staff draft is a more comprehensive document that is much more reader-friendly.

“This is certainly an improvement from the second iteration [of the staff draft Delta Plan]. I think the readability is much better,” Council member Gloria Gray said. “I was able to read and understand it even though I don’t have a historical background in water.”

That said, there is still much to be done, said Executive Officer Joe Grindstaff. The fourth staff draft will reflect the Council’s direction and consider more than 1,000 comments submitted by stakeholders, state and federal agencies, and other interested parties.

The Council will review and revise the fourth staff draft of the Delta Plan during three public meetings in June, scheduled for June 16 and 23-24. The June 16 meeting will provide Council members a forum to discuss big issues of the plan with one another and the public.

On June 23-24, the Council will evaluate the fourth staff draft of the Delta Plan and make revisions before circulating for EIR recommendations. A fifth staff draft is then scheduled to be released on June 30, concurrently with the draft EIR.

To view all the drafts of the Delta Plan, please click here.

To view upcoming meeting notices and materials, please click here.

delta council meeting pic

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)