April Delta Conveyance Project Update

Published:

Aerial view looking east at the S Bacon Island road bridge connecting the Northern end of Bacon Island (Left) and Southern end of Mandeville Island (right),  both part of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in San Joaquin County, California. Photo taken March 08, 2019.

Aerial view of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. DWR/ 2019

Recent Activities – April 2020

Conclusion of CEQA Public Scoping Comment Period

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) scoping period concluded on April 17, 2020 after an extended 93-day public comment period. DWR is reviewing all submitted comments and will publish a scoping report summarizing the information this summer. DWR will consider these comments when developing the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The Draft EIR is expected in early 2021. Information and updates on the environmental review process can be found here.

Correspondence

Correspondence related to the project is posted on the DWR project website. In April, there was correspondence related to requests for an additional extension of the scoping period and about western alignment options. View letters and emails here by scrolling down to “Correspondence and Documents.”

Digital Articles

DWR posted a digital article titled “Amid COVID-19, Essential Work Continues with Commitment to Public Engagement and Transparency.” This article describes how DWR has adapted during the crisis to continue its important work, including modernizing Delta conveyance, with added creativity and sensitivity to meet public participation and transparency needs.

DWR also published an article specific to the Delta Conveyance Project, titled “DWR Deploys World Class Expertise for Delta Conveyance Design.” This article discusses the overall engineering design process, the need for world-class experts and the use of Independent Technical Review panels.

Delta Stakeholder Engagement Committee Meeting

The Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA)* Stakeholder Engagement Committee (SEC) met virtually on April 22. It is the first SEC meeting to have 100%-member attendance, and at the peak there were a total of 96 participants including members, staff and the general public. The DCA will continue to work with members to improve technical capacity, geared toward improving the online participation experience. They are encouraged that future meetings will continue to see an increase in public engagement. The agenda included a discussion of future meetings during the pandemic as well as a review of proposed south Delta facilities. Moving forward, the SEC will meet on a monthly basis. Meeting materials can be found here.

DCA Monthly Board Meeting
On April 16, the DCA Board held their monthly meeting virtually. Meeting materials can be found here.

Upcoming Activities – May 2020

DCA Monthly Board Meeting

The next DCA Board monthly meeting is scheduled for May 21 at 2:00pm and will take place virtually. Meeting materials and information on how to participate remotely will be posted on the DCA website when available.

Delta Conveyance Finance Authority Monthly Board Meeting

The next Delta Conveyance Finance Authority monthly meeting is scheduled for May 21 at 11:00am and will take place virtually. Meeting materials and information on how to participate remotely will be posted on the DCA website when available.

Delta Stakeholder Engagement Committee Meeting

The next SEC meeting is scheduled for May 27 at 3:00pm and will take place virtually. Meeting materials and information on how to participate remotely will be posted on the DCA website when available.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is DWR doing with the comments submitted during the scoping period?

Now that the scoping period has ended, DWR is reviewing the feedback received by agencies and members of the public as it develops the Draft EIR for the Delta Conveyance Project. All comments received during the scoping period will be captured in the scoping report DWR plans to publish this summer and considered in the development of the Draft EIR, specifically the range of alternatives that are evaluated in detail and the scope of the environmental impact analysis. DWR will carefully review all comments to ensure selection of a reasonable range of potentially feasible alternatives that meet project objectives and present opportunities to reduce impacts, consistent with the requirements of CEQA. Publication of the Draft EIR is expected in early 2021 and will provide another opportunity for public review and comment.

DWR has committed to continued public participation opportunities during the pandemic, but what specifically is happening related to the Delta Conveyance Project?
Consistent with DWR’s approach to continue essential work and accommodate public participation during this public health crisis, several actions have already been implemented or are planned for the Delta Conveyance Project to maintain and expand access to public engagement activities. Specific items include:

  • Expanding online access to DCA and Stakeholder Engagement Committee meetings.
    • Using Zoom and Ring Central to hold online meetings;
    • Providing equipment, including cameras and computers, and technical support and training to committee members;
    • Establishing a new YouTube channel for posting meeting videos, enabling better streaming for viewers with low bandwidth connections;
    • Adding social media to publicize meetings and provide more opportunities for interaction.
  • Continuing general educational outreach and engagement through online and telephone briefings to accommodate remote participation.
  • Informing tribes that consultations under AB-52 and other project briefings may be continued by phone or delayed until the tribes are available.

Where can I find more Delta conveyance FAQs?
Additional FAQs can be found here and here.

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* The DCA is a joint powers authority created by the public water agencies. Working under the oversight of DWR, the DCA will assist with the design and construction of a proposed Delta conveyance project. DWR – as the owner and operator of the State Water Project – is leading the environmental review and permitting process.