DWR releases draft environmental impact report for Delta Conveyance Project

State approves Delta Conveyance Project, certifies final EIR

After many months of study and input from the public, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) finally approved the Delta Conveyance Project and certified the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). DWR selected the “Bethany Reservoir Alignment” for further engineering, design and permitting.

The new Delta Conveyance Project is expected to:

  • Capture and move more water during wet seasons to better endure dry seasons,
  • Minimize future losses from climate-driven weather extremes,
  • Protect against earthquakes disrupting water supplies,
  • Continue meeting regulatory water quality and fishery requirements, and add new operating rules for further fishery protections,
  • Include a Community Benefits Program to ensure local communities get the means and resources to achieve tangible and lasting benefits.

The environmental review included a 142-day public comment period in which DWR received more than 700 letters and 7,000 individual comments. Outreach began in 2020 and has included a multitude of webinars, workshops, briefings, multi-language informational materials, email updates, videos, animations, tabling at local events, and a comprehensive Delta survey.

DWR claims the Final EIR responds to all substantive comments.

In certifying the EIR and approving the project, DWR has determined the environmental review complies with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and the Final EIR reflects public input and DWR’s independent judgment and analysis. DWR has also:

Now that the environmental review is complete and the project has been approved, DWR will take the next steps to pursue numerous state and federal permits or authorizations, including those required by the State Water Resources Control Board, the Delta Stewardship Council, and compliance with state and federal Endangered Species acts.

The Delta Construction Authority will provide a new cost estimate and a benefit-cost analysis in mid-2024.

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