DWR Releases Final EIR for Delta Conveyance Project

  • by Department of Water Resources
  • Dec 8, 2023
  • Water News

The Department of Water Resources today released the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Delta Conveyance Project, advancing an essential piece of the state’s strategy to protect water access for millions of Californians. It was redesigned following public input and Governor Newsom’s pledge of rightsizing the project to one tunnel to better support both environmental and water supply needs.

By 2040, California is expected to lose 10% of its water supply due to hotter temperatures. During January’s atmospheric rivers, the Delta Conveyance Project could’ve captured enough water for 2.3 million peoples’ yearly usage. Until this year, the state faced its three driest years on record. Extreme weather whiplash will result in more intense swings between droughts and floods. California’s 60-year-old State Water Project infrastructure is not built for these climate effects.

The Delta Conveyance Project would modernize the state’s water infrastructure to:

  • Capture and move more water during wet seasons to better endure dry seasons;
  • Minimize future losses from climate-driven weather extremes;
  • Protect against earthquakes disrupting water supplies;
  • Continue meeting regulatory water quality and fishery requirements, and add new operating rules for further fishery protections;
  • Includes a Community Benefits Program to ensure local communities get the means and resources to achieve tangible and lasting benefits.

“Climate change is threatening our access to clean drinking water, diminishing future supplies for millions of Californians – doing nothing is not an option. After the three driest years on record, we didn’t have the infrastructure to fully take advantage of an exceptionally wet year, which will become more and more critical as our weather whiplashes between extremes,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “This project is essential to updating our water system for millions of Californians. This new approach, redesigned following community and environmental input, is how we can build a California of the future.”

This project is key to California’s Water Resilience Portfolio and Governor Newsom’s Water Supply Strategy.

Throughout development of the proposed project, DWR heard from local communities and used feedback to address concerns, with some of these recommendations including: avoiding the central Delta, avoiding forebays and barge landings, reducing pile driving, undergrounding power near sandhill crane habitat, minimizing acreage needed to store tunnel material, and minimizing the project footprint.

The proposed project also includes a Community Benefits Program, with the goal to identify and implement local projects that can provide tangible and lasting local benefits.

“Modernized infrastructure in the Delta is a missing link to the state’s most affordable and reliable source of water,” said Karla Nemeth, Director of the California Department of Water Resources. “Improving water use efficiency and increasing local water supplies is an important compliment to the State Water Project to ensure that a climate proof water supply remains affordable now and into the future.”

The environmental review included a 142-day public comment period in which DWR received more than 700 letters and 7,000 individual comments. Outreach began in 2020 and has included a multitude of webinars, workshops, briefings, multi-language informational materials, email updates, videos, animations, tabling at local events, and a comprehensive Delta survey. The Final EIR responds to all substantive comments.

“We worked hard to address local concerns and made considerable improvements to minimize terrestrial species effects, wetland impacts,noise, air quality impacts, traffic, power needs, boating and waterway effects, land disturbance, and overall project footprint,” said Carrie Buckman, the project’s Environmental Program Manager.

An Environmental Impact Report evaluates and discloses to public agency decision makers and the public the potential environmental impacts, and identifies feasible mitigation measures to avoid, minimize, or otherwise offset potentially significant impacts.

Proposed responses to comments, as well as the Final EIR and accompanying informational resources, can be accessed at www.deltaconveyanceproject.com. This action signifies the last step DWR is required to take under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) prior to deciding whether to certify the EIR and approve the proposed project.

The Final EIR was prepared by DWR as the lead agency to comply with the requirements of CEQA. The Final EIR is presented in two volumes: 1) the contents of the entire Draft EIR, as revised, and 2) all comments received on the Draft EIR and responses to substantive comments.

At the conclusion of the CEQA process, DWR will determine if the Final EIR has been completed in compliance with CEQA and whether to certify that the Final EIR reflects DWR’s independent judgment and analysis. Following certification of the Final EIR, DWR will then use the information in it to assist in determining whether to approve the proposed project, an alternative or no project. Learn more about the CEQA process here. Find a full list of informational materials here. A video and infographic materials are available in a DWR news release.

 

Suggested Resources

15 RESOURCES prev next
Dam Safety Fact Sheet

ACWA, along with the California Municipal Utilities Association and California Alliance for Jobs, has released a Dam Safety Fact Sheet, […]

Making Conservation a CA Way of Life Fact Sheet – January 2024

  ACWA’s Making Conservation a California Way of Life Fact Sheet provides a summary of the State Water Board’s draft regulatory […]

Comment Letter on Sacramento/Delta Draft Staff Report

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Comment Letter – Sacramento/Delta Draft Staff Report Letter excerpt: The Association of California Water […]

Comments on Proposed Updates to the Drinking Water Cost Assessment Model

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Proposed Updates to the Drinking Water Cost Assessment Model: Other Essential Infrastructure, Admin Needs, […]

Draft White Paper: Proposed Updates for the 2024 Drinking Water Needs Assessment

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Draft White Paper Discussion On: Proposed Updates for the 2024 Drinking Water Needs Assessment […]

Division of Drinking Water Reporting Toolkit

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

ACWA 2023 Fall Conference Presentations

Presentations from ACWA’s 2023 Fall Conference & Expo held November 28-30 in Indian Wells are available below. Please note that […]

Request for Extension of Public Comment Period for Lead and Copper Rule Improvements

Agency: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Subject: USEPA Lead and Copper Rule Improvements EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0801 – Request for Extension of Public Comment Period […]

Joint Comment Letter Regarding Proposed Hexavalent Chromium MCL

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Joint Comment Letter regarding Proposed Hexavalent Chromium Maximum Contaminant Level and Addendum to the […]

2024 ACWA Scholarship Toolkit

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

ACWA 2023 Fall Conference Attorney Programs

Presentations from the Attorney Programs held during ACWA’s 2023 Fall Conference & Expo Nov. 28-30 in Indian Wells are available […]

Motion to Consider Renewal of the Electric Program Investment Charge Program

Agency: California Public Utilities Commission Subject: A.19-10-005: Order Instituting Rulemaking on the Commission’s Own Motion to Consider Renewal of the Electric […]

Comment Letter – Tulare Lake Subbasin Probationary Hearing Draft Staff Report

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Comment Letter – Tulare Lake Subbasin Probationary Hearing Draft Staff Report Letter excerpt: The […]

2023 Summary of Legislation

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Federal Legislative Matrix

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Suggested News

15 Articles prev next
California’s Go Golden Initiative Brings Millions to Disadvantaged Pass Area Communities

BEAUMONT — The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) awarded San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency (SGPWA) $2 million in grant […]

Water Agencies Explore Innovative Deal for Drought-Proof Water

The San Diego County Water Authority and the Moulton Niguel Water District are exploring a potential transfer of drought-resilient water […]

Zone 7 Invites Residents to Save Water and Win Big

LIVERMORE – Zone Water Agency, in partnership with California Water Service, Dublin San Ramon Services District, the City of Livermore, […]

Latest Snow Survey Shows Improvement for Sierra Snowpack

SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today conducted the third snow survey of the season at Phillips Station. […]

Water Capture Breaks Century Record

REDLANDS — With February’s atmospheric rivers dumping inches on the southland, the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District announced its […]

Deadline Extended to March 8 for ACWA’s Spring Awards

ACWA is still accepting applications for its 2024 Spring Awards Programs. To give members a little more time, ACWA is […]

WVWD Names Sheryl Shaw, P.E. as New General Manager

Walnut Valley Water District is pleased to announce a significant transition in leadership as Erik Hitchman, P.E., retires from his […]

PV Water Secures $74 Million Loan with US EPA to Fund Sustainable Water Projects

WATSONVILLE – PV Water is announcing that it has secured the funding necessary to complete the construction of the College […]

Over 15,000 JCSD Customers to Receive Bill Credits in Joint Initiative with Jurupa Valley

JURUPA VALLEY – Jurupa Community Services District (JCSD) is proudly partnering with the City of Jurupa Valley in the American […]

Colorado River Online Tool Offers Insight for Local Residents

ROWLAND HEIGHTS – Rowland Water District (RWD) has launched a Colorado River public outreach campaign, helping customers learn more about […]

Yuba Water’s Chief Dam Safety Engineer Elected to United States Society on Dams Board

Tim Truong, Yuba Water Agency’s chief dam safety engineer, has been elected to the board of directors for the United […]

Local Water Districts and the City of Ukiah Create New Ukiah Valley Water Authority

UKIAH — Millview County Water District, Redwood Valley County Water District, and the City of Ukiah took a series of […]

PWD Board Appoints Local Nurse to Fill Vacant Seat

PALMDALE – Cynthia Sanchez, a nurse at Kaiser Permanente, is the new Palmdale Water District (PWD) Board Director representing Division […]

Central Coast Agencies will use $5.5 million from DWR for Local Projects

As part of our continued partnership with local experts to make strategic investments in water supply resilience projects across the […]

Bureau Announces Initial Allocations for CVP Contractors

SACRAMENTO – The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Feb. 21 announced initial 2024 water supply allocations for Central Valley Project […]