CALFED publishes preferred options for Bay-Delta
Since its inception in June 1995, the CALFED Bay-Delta program - a federal-state partnership - has attempted to develop solutions for restoring ecological health to the San Francisco Bay-San Joaquin Delta, while satisfying the competing interests of farmers, environmentalists, water suppliers and businesses. The 738,000-acre Bay-Delta system irrigates 200 types of crops, producing 45% of the nation's fruits and vegetables, according to CALFED.
On June 25, 1999, CALFED released its draft environmental impact report (EIR), which identifies “preferred” options for the Bay-Delta. The plan, set forth in a multivolume report, describes a series of long-term programs including levee system integrity, water quality, ecosystem restoration, water-use efficiency, water transfers, watershed management, and storage and delta conveyance.
The 30-year restoration program is expected to cost $10 billion. About $301 million will be spent on early ecosystem restoration projects through 1999, such as habitat restoration, fish ladders, land acquisition, and research and monitoring.
Beginning Aug. 18, CALFED will host 15 public hearings around the state on the draft EIR and preferred options. A 90-day public comment period concludes Sept. 23. The plan is scheduled to be finalized by June 2000.
For more information, go to the CALFED website at http://calfed.ca.gov or call 1-800-700-5752. Copies of CALFED documents are available in many local libraries.