Delta ISB Discusses Flow Objectives, BDCP, and Findings from Prior Meetings

During its January 12-13 meeting, the Delta Independent Science Board (ISB) reviewed two draft memos summarizing findings from prior meetings. The first memo addressed key findings from the Board’s interactions with Delta scientists, stakeholders, agency heads, and legislative staff to gain a broad overview of how well Delta science is working for these decision-makers. The second memo addressed the importance of the Delta Science Program and the need for secure, long-term funding. Both memos will be revised based on the discussion and finalized at the Board’s March 8-9 meeting.

Karla Nemeth, BDCP Program Manager with the California Natural Resources Agency, gave the Delta ISB a BDCP status update in preparation for its statutorily required review of the draft EIR for BDCP. The Board determined it needed to define the scope of the review, and will likely need help from others to adequately perform its review. The Board asked Delta Science Program staff to provide a recommended approach that addresses these concerns at the next Delta ISB meeting. The straw proposal will likely include the use of reports from the Science Program-sponsored independent review of the BDCP Effects Analysis and may include help from the Council’s independent BDCP consultant, ARCADIS, as well as technical experts, and other expert panels.

Les Grober, Assistant Deputy Director, Division of Water Rights at the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), gave a presentation to the Board on historic and current efforts to update water quality objectives, including flow objectives, with a focus on the recent efforts on the San Joaquin River and South Delta. The Delta ISB decided to continue learning about the State Board’s efforts at its next meeting and may write a memo with overview comments on how the SWRCB is utilizing science in its approach to developing flow objectives.

The next Delta ISB meeting is scheduled for March 8-9, 2012.