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2016 Independent Science Review of the Delta Regional Monitoring Program Monitoring Design
The Delta Regional Monitoring Program (Delta RMP) was initiated by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) to fulfill the unique need for a comprehensive effort to assess and track water quality constituents and their effects in the Delta to provide a scientific basis for water policy and documenting the effectiveness of beneficial use protection and restoration efforts.
The development of the Delta RMP was initially prompted by the collapse of several pelagic fish species in the early 2000s, an event that triggered new inquiries into the potential role of contaminants in what is now termed the Pelagic Organism Decline; however, these inquiries more broadly highlighted the shortcomings of existing monitoring efforts to address similar questions at the scale of the Delta.
A Monitoring Design for the Delta RMP (Monitoring Design) was approved in June 2015 and monitoring for pesticides and pathogens began that same year. The current document includes full monitoring design details for current use pesticides and toxicity, mercury, and pathogens.
The purpose of this review is to provide an independent and objective assessment of the Monitoring Design. This effort will involve an initial and final review of the 2015 Monitoring Design. The Delta Science Program will host this review in accordance with its mission to provide the best possible unbiased scientific information to inform water and environmental decision making.
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.
Review Panel Members:
- Peter Raimondi, Professor, UC Santa Cruz (Chair)
- Barry Noon, Professor, Colorado State University (Lead Author)
- Allan Stewart-Oaten, Professor Emeritus, UC Santa Barbara
- Laura Valoppi, Lead Scientist South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project, USGS
- Michael MacWilliams, Principal Engineer, Anchor QEA
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)