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2015 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions Annual Science Review

Response to the Delta Science Program and Independent Review Panel Report from the 2015 Annual Review of the Long-term Operation Biological Opinions (2015 Annual Review) (January 29, 2016)


Transmittal Letter from Dr. Cliff Dahm to the United States Bureau of Reclamation, National Marine Fisheries Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Department of Water Resources (December 16, 2015)


Report of the 2015 Independent Review Panel (IRP) on the Long-term Operations Biological Opinions (LOBO) Annual Review (December 16, 2015)


Meeting Notice - November 5 – 6, 2015

Review Materials, Supplemental Documents, Background Information, and Presentations


NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have each issued a Biological Opinion (BiOp) on the long-term operations of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) that include Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPA) designed to alleviate jeopardy to listed species and adverse modification of critical habitat. NMFS’ RPA requires the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and NMFS to host a workshop no later than November 30 of each year to determine whether any measures prescribed in the RPA should be altered in light of information learned from the prior year’s operations or research. Under direction from the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior, this review has been expanded to include a review of the implementation of the USFWS Long-term Operations BiOp. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) also participates in the review because it operates the SWP. The intent of the annual review is to inform NMFS and USFWS as to the efficacy of the prior years’ water operations and regulatory actions prescribed by their respective RPAs, with the goal of developing lessons learned, incorporating new science, and proposing scientifically justified adjustments to the RPAs or their implementation to support decision-making for the next water year. The Sixth Annual Science Review will be held on November 5 – 6, 2015.


Charge to the Independent Review Panel:

The charge to the panel provides the orientation and focus, materials to be reviewed and specific questions for the panel to start the review process. It provides the direction, context and timeline for the review.

Charge to the Panel


Review Panel Members:

Panel Member Bios

  • James Gore, Ph.D., University of Tampa (Panel Chair)
  • Ron Kneib, Ph.D., RTK Consulting Services and University of Georgia (Emeritus) (Lead Author)
  • James Anderson, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Nancy Monsen, Ph.D.,  Civil/Environmental Engineering Consultant
  • Geoff Schladow, Ph.D., Professor, University of California, Davis
  • John Van Sickle, Ph.D., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (retired)

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)