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The Draft Bay-Delta Conservation Plan: Assessment of Environmental Performance and Governance

Published Article
West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law & Policy
Publication Date
Jan 22, 2014
Center for Watershed Sciences John Muir Institute of the Environment


LEXISNEXIS SUMMARY: ... We evaluated the modeling results in the Plan and conducted our own modeling to evaluate how changes in conditions would affect delta and longfin smelt. ... Note: Full-color figures available in complete copy of this article at ... One of the objectives of BDCP that is in line with those of the Delta Plan is to increase exports during wet periods and decrease them during dry periods when impacts on the ecosystem are greatest. ... Although there are many issues discussed in the Plan for the Sacramento system and covered species, there are three central flow performance concerns: changes in reservoir release timing and magnitude and its impact on anadromous fishes; modifications to Fremont Weir and its benefits for floodplain habitat for outmigrating salmonids; and, near-and far-field effects of North Delta diversion operations. ... These releases are to meet the complex array of temperature and flow requirements downstream of the dams, irrigation demands upstream of the Delta, inflows to meet export demands, and outflows to meet water quality and habitat standards. ... These impacts are some of the most difficult to assess due to uncertainties about design and operation of the facilities (no comparable facility exists to calibrate models) and the relationship between downstream actions, such as tidal marsh restoration, and flows. ...

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