On May 2, 2019 the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced that it will pursue a new environmental review and planning process for modernized water conveyance in the Delta. This effort is consistent with Governor Newsom’s vision for water resilience and his directive for a single-tunnel project that will ensure water security.
During the same announcement, DWR directed the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA) to engage in engineering planning activities in support of the environmental review. Through previous efforts, we have learned that the more comprehensive the engineering work, the better positioned the review process is to accurately assess impacts and identify effective mitigation measures. More comprehensive engineering has the added benefit of including more detailed concepts in the final environmental documents that leaves fewer unknowns to future design.
The types of engineering work that the DCA will be performing under the direct supervision of DWR include but are not limited to:
- Field investigations of soil and other conditions
- Development of project layout and alternatives
- Studies on transportation modes and routes including how to minimize impact to those who live and work in the region
- Sustainability studies to identify how to reduce carbon emissions throughout construction
- Evaluations of equipment and materials to reduce noise and other community impacts
- Tactics to reduce construction time for example fabricating components offsite
- Regional workforce studies to utilize the local labor force
The DCA will also be working closely with the DWR’s stakeholder engagement team to present project alternatives, solicit and incorporate input, log and respond to all stakeholder questions and where warranted, conduct additional studies to address concerns as they arise in the process.
On June 20, 2019, the DCA is expected to bring a proposed amendment to the Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement to its Board. This amendment outlines the agency’s relationship with DWR and its scope of activities in support of environmental planning for a new single tunnel Delta conveyance proposal.
DWR’s and the DCA’s work will continue to be done in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Consistent with the CEQA process, DWR will issue a Notice of Preparation for an environmental impact report on a single tunnel conveyance proposed project later this year. The department will serve as the CEQA lead agency.
The DCA is a public agency subject to the Brown Act’s open meetings and open records requirements. The public is welcome to attend board meetings, and to view board agendas and supporting documents. Visit www.dcdca.org for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the agenda distribution list. The public is also encouraged to sign up for email updates about the planning process here.