California Posting Water Plan Online

SACRAMENTO (CN) – Parts of the new water conservation plan for California’s Bay Delta are posted online and the entire plan will be posted by Oct. 1, Gov. Jerry Brown said.
     “One calamitous storm or natural disaster – driven by climate change – could jeopardize the entire Delta, destroy its ecosystem and cut off water to 25 million Californians,” Brown said in a statement. “This agreement with our federal partners moves us another step closer to being more prepared for an uncertain future in California.”
     The Bay Delta is a 1,100 square-mile inland estuary formed by the convergence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, at the western edge of the Central Valley. The Delta itself is east of where the two rivers flow into Suisun Bay. Originally marshland, it was reclaimed in the late 1850s and 1860s by Chinese workers who built thousands of miles of levees and 57 leveed islands.
     The Delta is crucial to the state’s water system. It provides irrigation for millions of acres of farmland, and drinking water for 25 million people.
     It is in danger of ecological collapse due to a variety of factors, including population pressure, increased water demand and climate change.
     Seven of the BDCP’s 12 chapters already are available online .
     They describe more than 200 “specific biological goals and directives that will guide implementation of the plan,” including a pumping plants, new water diversion points, and 35 miles of tunnels to protect the system from earthquakes, floods, and other effects of climate change.
     It includes protections for 52 endangered plants and animal species and 11 endangered fish, including the Delta smelt, Chinook salmon, San Joaquin kit fox and Swainson’s hawk.
     The plan is a “long-term conservation strategy” that will be carried out for the next 50 years.

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