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PCWA Comments on Bay Delta Conservation Plan



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AUBURN - On July 28 Placer County Water Agency submitted comments on the potential impacts of the proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), stating that the current analysis of the plan is significantly incomplete and fails to address key issues for communities that rely on the American River for water supply.

In a 61-page letter to state and federal officials, PCWA commented on a wide range of shortcomings in the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

"The report fails to address issues that we know exist: climate change, future increased needs for water in Northern California and long-term management of Folsom Reservoir, to name just a few," said Einar Maisch, Director of Strategic Affairs.

PCWA said that the BDCP's singular focus on improving the reliability of water exports ignores important environmental factors and ultimately offers a simplistic partial solution to complex statewide problems.

"The BDCP acknowledges that sea levels will rise by 16 inches or more in the coming decades," said Maisch "Yet, the plan and the analysis do not address how California will adapt to rising sea levels and the increased salinity in the Delta that will result. If we don't acknowledge the need to adapt our environmental objectives to these rising sea levels, Folsom and Shasta reservoirs will be drained to literally push back the rising sea, leaving Northern California economies in peril."

PCWA noted that the tunnels themselves are positioned to keep them away from the growing salinity -- but the standards for salinity are sidestepped.

"We must develop a plan to provide water supply reliability for the entire state, not just the exporters, and this plan is far from it," said Joshua Alpine, Chairman of the PCWA Board of Directors.

The BDCP plan projects Folsom Reservoir will be at "dead pool" every 10 years - with no water available to be pumped from the reservoir during those years.

"California's climate is changing and the state must recognize this fact and create an operational and environmental plan that addresses this issue," said Alpine. "Draining Northern California reservoirs to export water to other parts of the state and maintain a freshwater Delta is a partial solution that creates more problems than it solves."

Alpine added:  "We have directed Placer County Water Agency staff to vigorously defend the water rights we have under long-standing and established federal and state law.  Reliable water supply is critical to our County's economic future and we will take all necessary steps to protect that water reliability."

For more information on PCWA's comments, please contact Einar Maisch at 530-823-4882.  To view PCWA's comments, please visit www.pcwa.net

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