Coalition to support South Delta Water Project

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Dec. 8, 2005

California needs a safe, reliable and high quality water supply to keep up with a rising population and growing economy. Two-thirds of California receives its water from the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  

The South Delta Improvements Program (SDIP), a project of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), is a responsible and balanced plan to improve our state’s water supply reliability, water quality and the overall health of the Bay-Delta ecosystem.  The program will construct seasonal tidal gates to protect fish and improve water circulation and quality in the Delta, dredge select Delta channels to improve water deliveries for local farmers, and allow State Water Project deliveries to increase modestly – only when needed and environmentally safe to do so.

Currently, the state is constrained in its ability to use surplus water supplies.  We have the infrastructure to move the water, but until SDIP is approved, the state’s water managers cannot fully or responsibly use the existing system.  SDIP calls for only a 3-5 percent increase in the average amount of water pumped from the Delta.  More significantly, SDIP will provide the flexibility to shift the timing of water deliveries when surplus is available and when it is environmentally safe.  

SDIP is supported by a statewide, broad coalition of water, agriculture, business, planning organizations, and local government officials, including CMTA.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report, released by DWR and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation last Fall, will have a 90-day public comment period with a series of public forums and hearings throughout the state.  

Click here for more information about SDIP.

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