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Council Takes Action on Projects

September 2011

The Delta Stewardship Council has approved the implementation of five projects aimed at protecting and repairing Delta levees near a key Bay Area water supply aqueduct.

By a unanimous 5-0 vote during its July meeting, the Council approved projects that will protect islands on the Mokelumne Aqueduct operated by the East Bay Municipal Utilities District (East Bay MUD).

The projects will be funded by the Department of Water Resources with funds provided by Proposition 84, approved by voters in 2006. Prop. 84 required that the California Bay-Delta Authority or its successor – now the Delta Stewardship Council – approve the projects.

Eileen White, manager of Operations and Maintenance at East Bay MUD, explained to the Council the importance of the levee projects.

“There are multiple beneficiaries to these projects – potentially the water supply to 20 million people in California,” White said.

The five projects each consist of adding fill to specific levee areas and landslide slopes, as well as creating stockpiles of quarry stone and aggregate base material for emergency response. Trees will also be planted along the waterside of the levee to enhance the ecosystem.

Gail Newton, Chief of the FloodSAFE Environmental Stewardship and Statewide Resource program for the Department of Water Resources (DWR), underscored the importance of the Council’s decision.

“On average, each of these five projects is creating about 2,000 linear feet of water side vegetation,” she said. “The best case scenario is that these five projects will create about 10,000 linear feet of new habitat, which is pretty tremendous for the Delta.”

DWR identified 10 projects as eligible to receive state funds under the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006. Five additional projects will be brought before the Council pending completion of an environmental review and biological assessment.

To view Delta Aqueduct Protection Projects agenda materials, click here.

To view all agenda materials from past meetings, 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)