Delta Stewardship Council Releases Draft Version of Delta Plan

August 5, 2011

On August 3, 2011, the Delta Stewardship Council issued a further (fifth) draft of the Delta Plan. As we explained in our November 2009 Legal Alert on California's sweeping water legislation, the statutorily-created Delta Stewardship Council must adopt a Delta Plan by January 1, 2012, to accomplish ecosystem restoration and water delivery reliability for 25 million Californians and millions of acres of the world’s most productive farm land. The 2009 water legislation describes coequal goals “of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem” and explains that the legislation’s purpose is to “establish a governance structure that will direct efforts across state agencies to develop a legally enforceable Delta Plan.” The Delta Plan must include measures that promote: (1) viable populations of aquatic and terrestrial species; (2) functional corridors for migratory species; (3) diverse habitats; (4) reduced threats; (5) more reliable water supplies; (6) improved water quality; and (7) the economic vitality of the State.

The Delta Stewardship Council will accept comments on the current draft Delta Plan and the forthcoming Draft Environmental Impact Report (scheduled for release later this month) no later than September 30, 2011. Council meetings will be announced on the Council's website and broadcast online. Thereafter, two additional drafts of the Delta Plan are scheduled to be released in November and December 2011, respectively. The final EIR is scheduled to be released in December 2011, with the seventh draft of the Delta Plan.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the following from our office, or the attorney with whom you normally consult.

Eric Robinson or Hanspeter Walter | 916.321.4500