The Delta Stewardship Council (Council) was established by SB No. 1 (Ch 5, Stats. 09-10, 7th Ex Sess.), which took effect February 3, 2010. Pursuant to legislation, Water Code §85084 and Water Code §85300, the Council is required to develop, adopt, and commence implementation of an interim plan that includes recommendations for early actions, projects and programs and a Delta Plan and CEQA/NEPA compliance documents (EIR/EIS) on or before January 1, 2012. The Delta Plan must also meet federal consistency requirements. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act of 2009 established as state policy the coequal goals of (1) providing a more reliable water supply for California, and (2) protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The Delta Plan is required to advance the coequal goals and will include sub goals and strategies to assist in guiding state and local agency actions related to the Delta. The funding to support the Delta Plan effort will be funded entirely with funds from Proposition 84, the California Safe Drinking Water, Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006, Chapters 2 and 4.
The Delta Plan basics as required under SB 1 include:
- Further the co-equal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem.
- Include sub goals and strategies to assist in guiding state and local agency actions related to the delta.
- Identify specific actions that state and local agencies may take.
The Delta Vision Strategic Plan will be used as a guiding document in addition to the SB 1 provisions.
There are four key elements that are essential in order to fulfill the statutory requirements of adopting a Delta Plan by January 1, 2012 (Water Code §85300) and also developing an interim plan as an early action (Water Code §85084). Those key elements include:
- Final Interim Plan: August 27, 2010
- Draft Delta Plan and Project Description: November 2010
- Public Draft EIR/EIS: June 2011
- Final Delta Plan, EIR and Notice of Decision: December 2011
To maintain effective public engagement during the development of the interim plan and Delta Plan, a public outreach and communications program will also be developed. The elements of this plan will include:
- Posting of all materials, documents, reports and comments on the Council website
- Form workgroups representing all interest groups
Additional information on the interim plan and Delta Plan can be found on the Delta Stewardship Council website.