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CSPA Advisory June 28, 2010 

CSPA Comments on Delta Wetlands Place of Use Draft Environmental Impact Report

By Chris Shutes, CSPA Water Rights Advocate
June 28, 2010 -- In a follow up to a water rights protest filed last autumn, CSPA has filed comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Delta Wetlands Place of Use. Delta Wetlands is a proposed project that would store water on Delta islands in the winter, then release that water for export through the Delta pumps to southern California in the summer.

CSPA originally protested a water rights application for a similar project in the mid 1990’s, and participated in hearings at the State Water Resources Control Board a few years later. The project was approved by the State Board, but the original EIR was found inadequate following a lawsuit by the Central Delta Water Agency, because the original EIR did not specify the destination for the stored water. The project’s proponents revised their application for a water right, and issued a new Draft EIR in May of 2010.

CSPA protested the new water rights application, and has now commented on the new DEIR. CSPA states that baseline conditions and project impacts are not appropriately analyzed, that proposed mitigations are inadequate, that alleged benefits to the Delta are not beneficial, and that the project will promote speculation in water. The comments conclude:

“On balance, the net effect of the Delta Wetlands project will be to reduce Delta outflow by increasing exports of water from the Delta. It will reduce Delta outflow at the time it most critically needs to be increased. The project is bad for fisheries, bad for Delta water quality, and bad for Suisun Bay, San Pablo Bay and San Francisco Bay. It is a bad project that should be abandoned.”

Read CSPA Comments