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The Bay Delta and The Twin Tunnels

A Statewide Water Crisis

BEC Preps Comments on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan 

The average citizen cannot be expected to read, much less analyze the 40,000+ pages of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan's Environmental Impact Report/Statement (EIR/S).  But rest assured, BEC is working with dozens of environmental allies from the Environmental Water Caucus of California to dissect this document and submit meaningful comments by the April 14, 2014 deadline.
Carol Perkins, BEC Water Policy Analyst, notes that "although the Plan purports to ‘restore and protect ecosystem health, water supply, and water quality within a stable regulatory framework’ species protection and conservation measures do not extend beyond the plan boundaries, e.g., into affected regions upstream of the Delta; i.e., the water supply headwaters. The effects of more water diverted out of the Sacramento Valley region may have a lasting impact on species of concern: Valley Elderberry Longhorn beetle, Chinook salmon, and the Giant Garter snake. 
Additionally, impacts may include loss of groundwater, and the plan lacks floodplain protections or enhancements for this region.
BEC's comments and concerns include the following:
1)     The ongoing depletion of Northern Sacramento Valley groundwater due to surface water transfers and the resulting groundwater substitution to meet local water demand is not adequately modeled or addressed in the BDCP-EIR/S.
2)     The BDCP requires upstream water management plans and projects dependent in part on groundwater to supply the water for the Sacramento River diversions. Therefore environmental analysis should be tiered under one or more of the existing plans such as the Sacramento Valley Water Management Agreement and the Sacramento Valley Integrated Regional Water Management Plan. 
3)     The EIR/S fails to identify concerns of unknown risks and adverse environmental impacts in the upstream watersheds, and should include the Trinity and Klamath watersheds.
4)     The very nature of the stated co-equal goals of "water supply reliability" and "ecological restoration" declares intent to override state and Federal ESA acts: protection of endangered species comes first.
5)     The EIR/S fails to consider reduced Delta exports as an alternative: the best solution for all of California.

More Information 

The Governor is calling for an expensive engineering project that would perpetuate and worsen our current system's decline.  Others have developed plans that take a new approach to water management and Delta restoration that features

  • conservation
  • reuse
  • restoration
  • regional self-sufficiency

BEC, as a member of the Environmental Water Caucus (EWC) supports The Responsible Exports Plan Alternative by the Environmental Water Caucus (view or download)

The Butte County Board of Supervisors came out in August against the preferred Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) option. Read this one-page Resolution to find out why.

BEC is working with the media branch of Californians for Fair Water Policy on media outreach strategies on this issue. Visit their website for details.

BEC urges North State residents to take action and push for alternatives to the Twin Tunnels  

Delta Tunnels and northern California

Here are resources and links to help you become more familiar with the issues and take action.

Official Bay Delta Conservation Plan Website

Restore the Delta Website and Fact Sheets

BDCP Fact Sheet and Contact information of representatives and water representatives

Short Video produced by Restore the Delta

Take Action:

Say NO to the Tunnels and YES to the Alternatives

1)  Show the film ‘Over Troubled Waters’ to friends and organizations. Available at the BEC office and the Butte County, Chico Library. Contact us to borrow our copy.

2)  Write letters to the editor in response to stories and editorials  (list is below, check individual websites for format and details)

3)  Understand your own water use and take steps to conserve

4)  Write letters and call your representatives (key contacts are below)

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is currently accepting public comments on the draft EIR/EIS.  Comments are due April 14th, 2014.

Either mail to:
BDCP Comments
Ryan Wulff, NMFS
650 Capitol Mall, Suite 5-100
Sacramento, CA 95814

or E-mail:

If you don't have time to read thousands of pages of the EIR/EIS but are concerned about the local and statewide impacts of rerouting the Sacramento River around the delta, write to your representatives (listed below).  Also stop by the BEC office for a postcard to the governor and a bumper sticker for your bike or car.

5) Send us a self-addressed stamped envelope to 116 W. 2nd St., Chico 95928, for our local take on the "Save the Delta" bumpersticker:

Tips when letter writing

*Address the issue that resonates with you, stick with the facts, be respectful, send a copy to everyone on the list, and ask for a response.

Example Letter

Jerry Brown
Governor of California
(916) 445-2841
State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814

Mark Cowin
Department of Water Resources, Director
California DWR
P.O. Box 942836, Room 1115-1, Sacramento, CA 94236-0001

Butte County Supervisors
) 538-7643
25 County Center Drive, Oroville, CA 95965

Doug LaMalfa
California Congressman, 1st District
(530) 534-7100
1453 Downer St. Suite A, Oroville, CA 95965

Dan Logue
California State Assemblyman, 3rd District
(530) 895-4217
150 Amber Grove Dr., Suite #154, Chico, CA 95973

Jim Nielsen
California State Senator, 4th District
(530) 879-7424
2635 Forest Ave., Suite 110, Chico, CA 95928

Leigh McDaniel
Glenn County Supervisor and
Northern California Water Association
) 934-6400
525 West Sycamore Street, Suite B1 Willows, CA 95988

Barack Obama
President of the United States
(202) 456-1111
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500

Barbara Boxer
California State Senator
(916) 448-2787
501 I Street, Suite 7-600
Sacramento, CA 95814

Diane Feinstein
United States Senator
(415) 393-0707
One Post Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104

Local Newspapers:  *Chico News and Review * The Enterprise Record * The Record Searchlight
*The Red Bluff Daily News *The Sacramento Bee *The Paradise Post *Oroville Mercury Register

Example Editorial 
Example Letter to the Editor