Delta Independent Science Board Slams the Cal WaterFix

The Delta Independent Science Board has completed its review of the California WaterFix EIR/EIS. The entire review is attached.

The ISB report says the EIR/EIS “contains a wealth of information but lacks completeness and clarity in applying science to far-reaching policy decisions.” In other words, all those pages and pages and pages yet still lacks the required detail and information.

In particular, “Details about the adaptive-management process, collaborative science,” etc. That “adaptive-management” is where the whole thing hinges. The state keeps saying, “Trust us. We’ll manage the tunnels appropriately and not take more water than we should.” Yet, as we all know, that has not been the case in the past. For ten or twenty years they have extracted more water than the system could support, causing the salmon and other fish populations to crash. During the drought they moved way to much water from the North to the South and now the reservoirs in the North are at their lowest points ever, threatening community drinking water and upstream salmon hatcheries while the L.A. reservoirs are still full. With that history, no one should trust them.

The report lists failure to demonstrate “Due regard for several aspects of habitat restoration … and the strategy of avoiding damage to existing wetlands,” and insufficient analysis including the “effects of the proposed project on San Joaquin Valley agriculture.”

Plus, importantly, no comparison of the proposed alternatives.

The summary concludes with, “These interdependent issues of statewide importance warrant an environmental impact assessment that is more complete, comprehensive, and comprehensible than the Current Draft.”

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