Update on the California Delta Project

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Gardeners’ Guild’s January newsletter I wrote about the California Delta Project –  known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).  Since it effects a large portion of the state and has to do with water I was curious about the why, how and how much.

About the project –

Governor is proposing that we build two state of the art 35-mile tunnels that would connect to the state’s water system and deliver water south to the Central Valley and Southern California.

Currently water is being pumped out of the delta through an aging system that state official say will not survive a major earthquake.  Also the pumping system has been partly responsible for the decline in Salmon and Delta Smelts.  As a result, pumping has gradually been reduced over the years.

BDCP’s plan also includes habitat restoration which  proponents say will not only improve the delta ecosystem, but strengthen the water supply.

Just last week, KQED radio had the most recent update on costs and status.

The initiative is so large and its components so lengthy that parts of it are being released incrementally.  The latest chapters were released last week.

The price tag has ballooned to $25.54, up a billion dollars from the original estimate.

Opposition seems to be either about the cost or environmental concerns.  In particular, some have groups believe that the project may remove too much of the water from the Delta – harming fish.  Others fear that it will economically impact small farmers.

Aquafornia has some links to provocative opinion pieces.



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2 replies
  1. CherylSchoelles
    CherylSchoelles says:

    I think southern CA is an ecological disaster that has routinely destroyed its neighbors
    I think this immoral. Look at the areas which have been a source of water for L A. They
    are all dead. I also recollect during the long CA drought in the 70s that northern folks were (at least I was) limited to 300 gallons of water and any overuse was EXTREMELY expensive with a point of cut off if pushed, meanwhile I saw daily reports of the southerners watering lawns and washing sidewalks and huge swimming pools and well you get the picture. They were ‘rationed’ more water than we were allowed no matter how much rain fell. I think this careless planning is useless and that southern CA will destroy the northerners also. A solution needs to be found for the
    wrongly used land that should be allowed to be the desert it actually is. I feel that once they do this project it might well be the ending of the northern half. A desert has a never ending ability to suck every source of water dry.

  2. CherylSchoelles
    CherylSchoelles says:

    I do not think the comment extreme. The dry part of CA has historically done exactly as I have described. Please go and see Owens valley. It is a terrible place since it was drained. Once the means are present there will be no stopping endless thirst endlessly growing. The farmers of the Delta are right.


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