Minutes from June 25, 2013 Open Meeting- Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Open Board of Directors Meeting

  San Bernardino Community College District

 114 S. Del Rosa Drive

 San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present:  Don Averill, Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Ann Bryan, Rachelle Bussell,  Ken Coate, Scott Hofferber, Mark Kaenel, Ed Kilgore, Lowell King, Temetry Lindsey, Sue McKee, John Mirau, Charlie Ng, Tom Nightingale, John Prentice, Susan Rice, Phil Waller and A.J. Wilson.

Guests:   Joe Gonzales 

Announcements: 1) The Mobility 21 Board Meeting focused on planning the fall conference.  This year they will spot light High Occupancy Toll lanes (HOT) and tie health care and education to transportation issues. 

M/S/P: Minutes from June 18, 2013  

Ken Coate introduced Rich Atwater, Executive Director, Southern California Water Committee (SCWC). 

The Southern California Water Committee (SCWC) was established in 1984.  It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public education partnership dedicated to informing Southern Californians about our water needs and our state’s water resources. Through measured advocacy, SCWC works to ensure the health and reliability of Southern California’s water supply. 

Sustainability of California’s economy, the eighth largest in the world, depends upon a reliable source of water.  The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is the hub of our state’s water delivery system and home of an important ecosystem.  Nearly two-thirds of the state’s population, millions of acres of farmland, and the survival of many endangered species rely on the Delta. 

The health of the 100 year old unstable levee system in the Delta continues to deteriorate and the SCWC is dedicated to reaching a statewide consensus on Delta issues and work to achieve co-equal goals of water supply reliability and environmental preservation.  

The new Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) brings together the restoration of California’s water supplies and the restoration and preservation of the Delta environment for fish, wildlife and people. 

The environmental report is due in early October and the SCWC have been conducting informational public meetings to discuss the plan.  The new infrastructure will include tunneling under the Delta to achieve a reliable conveyance system.  Conservation and recycling of water is of equal importance in the plan as are utilization of new and existing technologies.  The purification of water is still very expensive as it requires a great deal of energy.  Desalination plants are not only very expensive to run with their high consumption of electricity, but typically have beach locations which are visually undesirable.  The process of reverse osmosis uses somewhat less energy but is still economically challenging because the costly fine membranes that are used in the process.    

The cost of the BDCP will be passed on to the water users.  It is costly to move water over distances so water rates will continue to be based on the users’ location.  Approximately 75% of our water in California is for urban use with the remaining 25% used for agriculture.  It is predicted that by 2025 water users will see an increase of approximately 5%.      

The new infrastructure will be able to withstand earthquakes, floods and rising sea levels.  Governor Brown is supportive of the BDCP and it is important that everyone involved elevate communication and provide leadership to move the BDCP forward. 

A Q & A period followed. 

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 a.m.