Your Questions Answered

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is large and complex. BDCP staff receive a number of common questions from landowners, stakeholders, media, and interested public. Each week we will compile common questions and issues and address them below.

Construction Impacts

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  • NEW! - Will the air quality impacts during construction force hundreds of residents to move?

  • Will BDCP construction require the dewatering of all groundwater along the entire alignment for 10 years?

  • Will access to and maintenance of the Delta levees be maintained during the construction period?

  • Will the construction activity be phased?

  • What is the total amount of agricultural land in the Delta that will be impacted by construction, including disposal of dirt and material?

  • How long will construction take, and how will construction activities impact residents, farming, fisheries, recreation, and other economic activities? What provisions are being made for negative impacts?


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  • NEW! - Will the BDCP’s significant and unavoidable impacts be mitigated?

  • NEW! - What happens with my comments?

  • Why isn't correspondence posted to the BDCP website during the public review period?

  • How many environmental impacts does the BDCP have?

  • Why are the draft documents so massive?

State Water Management Portfolio

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  • NEW! - Will Delta levees continue to be maintained with or without BDCP?

  • What is the California Water Action Plan, and how does the BDCP fit into it?

  • Why can’t the BDCP be replaced by desalination?

Project Schedule

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Cost and Financing

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  • NEW! - What planning efforts have been completed, how much has it cost, and who paid for it?

  • What do you expect the final cost of water to the contractors will be? What are the current ranges of prices south of the Delta for agricultural water, urban water, and water for oil extraction and/or fracking?

  • Is there evidence that irrigators in the southern San Joaquin Valley are willing/able to pay for the water they will receive? Will that change if farmers grow annual crops of lower dollar value that are resilient to annual changes in water supplies?

Water Quality

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  • NEW! - Will the BDCP increase salinity in the Delta?

  • What is the timetable for the State Water Resources Control board to place and enforce limits on water that can be exported from the Delta so that outflows and water quality will be preserved?

Facilities, Operation, and Deliveries

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  • NEW! - Will the BDCP replace the Delta's current pumping system?

  • NEW! - Are the tunnel diversions based on established criteria?

  • NEW! - Why are the baseline estimates for exports under the EIR/EIS no action alternative different than the baseline estimates for the “No BDCP” export scenario in BDCP Chapter 9?

  • How will gravity move water through the tunnels without intermediate pumps?

  • What provisions are proposed for maintaining these tunnels over the life of the project?

  • What are the anticipated deliveries to State and Federal project contractors in wet, average, and dry years? How many acre-feet are expected to be pumped through the South Delta pumps during those same wet, average, and dry years?

  • In addition to "anticipated" water deliveries, what will be the maximum delivery possible if the tunnels are built to the maximum size (9,000 cfs capacity)?

  • Would BDCP require reoperation of upstream dams, especially on the Sacramento River?

Seismic Concerns

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  • How many seismic faults will the proposed tunnels cross? At what depth?

  • Because there's uncertainty about seismic risk, should we do nothing to address it?

  • Is the Delta an active seismic region?

Surface Water and Storage

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  • Where will the project store the extra water that comes in wet years?

  • Why is no nonstructural alternative for achieving habitat and species restoration being considered?

  • Will the BDCP affect upstream reservoirs or cause "dead pool" conditions?

  • Can the BDCP Drain the Sacramento River?

  • Would BDCP Divert More Water from the Delta?

Project Commitments, Regulations, Requirements

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  • In terms of the Draft BDCP and Draft EIR/EIS, what is the difference between mitigation and restoration?

  • If species are not recovering, at what point will the fisheries agencies suspend the "take" permits, and what is the plan for export water deliveries if that occurs?

  • Where does authority lie to stop a particular BDCP action in response to an emergency or changed circumstance?

  • Is a Biological Opinion required prior to the release of the Draft BDCP?

  • How has the BDCP ensured transparency in its planning?

Climate Adaptation

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  • How will the BDCP protect water supplies in the event of an earthquake or levee failure?

  • How will the BDCP address the Delta’s resiliency and adaptability to the effects of climate change?

Ecosystem, Habitat, and Species

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  • What is the timetable for restoration? How will you know that the BDCP’s habitat conservation plan is moving forward successfully?

  • How will the fish screens on the North Delta tunnel intakes differ from the ones on the South Delta pumps?

  • Should the South Delta pumps, which will continue to be operated 51% of the time, including during dry years, have new screens? If not, why?

  • What happens if voters do not approve bond measures? Could conveyance construction begin before restoration funding is secured?

  • How would BDCP construction affect sandhill cranes in the Delta?

  • Would the BDCP Benefit All 56 Species It Would Cover?


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  • Will the BDCP impact private wells in the Delta?

  • Will the BDCP impact groundwater levels in the Delta?

  • Will water pumped from the Delta be used for fracking in the Central Valley?

Benefits of BDCP

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  • How Can a New Water Diversion Help the Delta?