Integration of Delta Levee Investment Strategy into the Delta Plan

The Delta Reform Act requires that the Delta Plan promote strategic levee investments that attempt to reduce risks to people, property, and State interests in the Delta (Water Code section 85305) and recommend priorities for State investment in levee operation, maintenance, and improvements in the Delta (Water Code section 85306). In addition, the Delta Plan may identify actions to be taken outside of the Delta, if those actions are determined to significantly reduce flood risks in the Delta and may include local plans of flood protection (Water Code section 85307(a-b)). The Delta Plan’s Chapter 7 (Reduce Risk to People, Property, and State Interests in the Delta) fulfills these requirements. The Chapter’s recommendation on Actions for the Prioritization of State Interests in the Delta (RR R4) called for promptly updating the Delta Plan’s priorities for State investment in Delta levees, which the Delta Plan considered interim. To implement this recommendation, the Council, its staff, and the Arcadis consulting team have been developing the Delta Levee Investment Strategy (DLIS) since 2014.

The Delta Stewardship Council has reviewed several versions of Delta Plan’s Chapter 7 (see list below). At the December 2016 Council meeting, the Council approved a discussion draft of an amendment to the Delta Plan’s Chapter 7, which addresses reducing risk to people, property, and State interests in the Delta to carry out the DLIS, including updated and new regulatory policies. The Council’s approval included revised language to emphasize the Council’s support of the continuation of the Delta Levees Subvention Program. A second modification made the recommendation dealing with providing public access along levees more succinct. The discussion draft also included proposed recommendations for prioritization for State levee investments on islands and tracts within the Delta and Suisun Marsh. Based on this December 2016 version, the Delta Protection Commission took action at its January 19th Commission meeting and adopted a letter, available now.

Some of the previous work on the Chapter 7 revisions occurred at the following Delta Stewardship Council’s meetings and workshops.

Delta Stewardship Council Workshops

At the February 2017 Council meeting, the Council is expected to review recommendations for a Delta Plan amendment to implement the DLIS. A final draft amendment could be presented for Council action at the March 2017 Council meeting. The approved draft would then be included in the project description for the CEQA document being prepared for the package of Delta Plan amendments that the Council is now developing. Council action on cost allocation issues could be deferred longer, if necessary, as those are unlikely to have a significant physical effect on the environment, and so may not require CEQA analysis.

Public outreach workshops were held in Stockton and Walnut Grove:

Delta Stewardship Council Meetings

Staff Reports were submitted for the following Delta Stewardship Council meetings:

  • February 24, 2017
    • Item 12. Consideration of Draft Delta Plan Amendment Regarding Conveyance, Storage, and the Operation of Both
  • January 26, 2017
    • Item 11. Discussion of Factors Affecting Local Cost Shares for the Delta Levee Subventions Program, Updated Information about Risks from Sea Level Rise, and Input at Public Workshops as Part of the Delta Levees Investment Strategy
    • Which included: Presentation on the Potential Effects of Rising Seas on Delta Levees
  • December 15, 2016
    • Item 9. Acceptance of Discussion Draft of Delta Plan Revisions regarding Priorities for State Delta Levees Investment
  • September 29 and 30, 2016
    • Item 11. Acceptance of Discussion Draft of Delta Plan Revisions regarding Priorities for State Delta Levees Investment
    • Which Included:
      • Letter from Dr. Steve Deverel regarding Subsidence Management
      • High Sea Level Rise Scenario
  • August 25, 2016
    • Item 8. Presentation of Discussion Draft of Delta Plan Revisions regarding Priorities for State Delta Levees Investment