October 18, 2022 Minutes-Graham Bradner, Delta Conveyance Design Construction Authority (DCDCA) Executive Director

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Hybrid Meeting In-Person and via ZOOM


Present:  Megan Barajas, Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Greg Bradbard, Rachelle Bussell, Chris Carrillo, Mark Cloud, Ken Coate, T. Milford Harrison, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Steve Lambert, Mike Layne, Bill Lemann, Darcy McNaboe, Miguel Mendoza, Jacquelyn Mercado, John Mirau, Robert Nava, Catherine Pritchett, Dan Roberts, Elizabeth Romero, Dan Schenkel, Eric Ustation, Pete Van Helden, Michael Wells, Ray Wolfe and Frank Zabaleta.

Guests:  Arnold San Miguel

Announcements:  1) Appreciation was expressed to Unical for permitting us to use one of their hangers for the Inland Action Anniversary event held last Wednesday. The event was well attended, and special thanks were given to Bill Lemann, Paul Shimoff and Senator Richard Roth for their personal comments regarding guest of honor John Mirau.  2) The Arrow Ribbon Cutting event will be held on October 21, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. at the Redlands-Downtown Station located between Eureka and Orange Streets. 3)  Ontario International Airport will hold its 2nd Annual State of the Airport on November 1, 2022 at the Ontario Convention Center from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  They will release their first economic impact study at this event. 3)  San Bernardino Valley College will host a building dedication in memory of Mrs. Lois Carson on Friday, November 4, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. 4) A farewell celebration to honor Supervisor Janice Rutherford will be held on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, at noon at the County Government Center.

Motion by S. Lambert/Second/Passed: Minutes from October 11, 2022.

Milford Harrison introduced Graham Bradner, Delta Conveyance Design Construction Authority (DCDCA) Executive Director who joined us remotely to discuss Modernizing Delta Conveyance.

Southern California obtains its water from various sources.  45% comes from local sources, 25% from the Colorado River and 30% from the State Water Project.  The State Water Project (SWP) serves 27M Californians many of whom are from disadvantaged communities.  Climate change has had many impacts including a reduction in local groundwater recharge, lower SWP deliveries, and a shortage in the Colorado River.  These reduced water levels are easily seen in Lake Oroville and the San Luis Reservoir and elsewhere.  Risks to the Delta are mounting with climate change, rising sea levels and potential seismic events.  As the current system is set up, we have missed conveyance opportunities this year that totaled 236,000 acre-feet of water which would supply over 2.5 M people or nearly 850,000 households for one year.  The system needs modernization, and the proposed Delta Conveyance Project (DCP) will provide operational flexibility.

  • The DCP will have an essential climate adaption strategy.
  • Will protect against future water supply losses due to drought, sea level rise and earthquake disruptions.
  • It will make the most of big but infrequent storm events.
  • The DCP will capture, move, and store water when it is available

The Delta Conveyance Project Team consists of Department of Water Resources who is an owner / operator of the State Water Project and will be the lead on all permits and will oversee DCA work.

Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA) will provide engineering to support planning and permitting, and design and build project.  Public Water Agencies (PWA) are project funders and governs DCA via an appointed board.

Since Governor Newsom asked that the project be completely rethought, they now have a fresh look and are embracing new technologies and innovations.  There are three proposed alignments (Central, Eastern, and Bethany) with differing capacity options.   The Bethany Reservoir Alignment has one of the highest capacities measured at 6,000 cubic feet per second (CFS).

Advantages of the Bethany Reservoir Alignment include state of the art fish screens for a smaller intake footprint, fewer tunnel launch shafts, traffic focus on highways/interstates/exclusive haul roads, route avoids the heart of the Delta, reliance on burying conduit for new power lines, new pumping plant on higher ground which discharges directly into Bethany Reservoir, and dramatically reduces impacts on waters and wetlands.  Major components include intakes, shaft sites, a pumping plant, tunnel, and outlet structures.  In today’s dollars the project cost is $15.9B and is expected to take 12 years to complete.

The group has been engaging the Delta communities with the concept and designs.  Their 20-member committee represents a wide array of interests and have held some 19 public meetings and given over 65 presentations.  Their design objectives are to minimize project effects on: in-river impacts, emergency services, flood risks, traffic, noise, land disturbance, emissions, habitat, seismic risks, community resources, existing infrastructure, and agriculture.  To minimize habitat disturbance, they will avoid conservation easements and other protected areas in facility siting, consider Greater Sandhill Cranes habitat in facility siting, reroute and realign facilities to avoid wetlands, rely on buried powerlines in crane habitat areas, include strategies for site access and logistics near wildlife protection areas, limit barge use and avoid new barge landings and use tunnels to deliver water from Southern Forebay to existing Banks Pumping Plant approach channel.

Much work is needed to secure and maintain a future reliable water supply.  For more information please go to https://www.deltaconveyanceproject.com/

A Q & A period followed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:34 a.m.