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California releases part of plan to restore delta

  • This Feb. 22, 2006 file photo shows houses located in the Pocket Area of Sacramento, Calif. along the Sacramento River. California water officials are set to release the revisions of the first four draft chapters of a $23 billion plan to restore and protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem and guarantee a stable water supply for millions of Californians. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan, known as the BDCP for short, is a federal and state initiative financed by California's water contractors, which includes recommendations for a twin tunnel project in the delta to carry water to vast farmlands and thirsty cities. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

FRESNO — California water officials released on Thursday the first part of a $23 billion plan to restore and protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem and guarantee a stable water supply for millions of Californians.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan, known as the BDCP, is a federal and state initiative financed by California's water contractors, which includes recommendations for a twin tunnel project in the delta to carry water to vast farmlands and thirsty cities.

The plan's first four chapters, released by the California Resources Agency, spell out the dismal state of the delta and detail conservation strategies to restore its dwindling fish species.

The chapters include a description of the proposal unveiled by Gov. Jerry Brown in July: the 35-mile twin underground tunnel project that would replace the delta's current pumping system. The project would have a total capacity of 9,000 cubic feet per second and include three intake pipes. It would cost $14 billion to construct and $5.8 billion to operate and maintain over the 50 year life of the plan. Construction and operation costs would be covered by water contractors.

The chapters also describe more than 200 biological goals and objectives for 57 fish and other species — such as the growth rates of individual fish and overall increases in a species' population — which will guide implementation of the plan over coming decades.


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