BDCP Chapter 188.8.131.52.1 and Table 4-1) was established. The BDCP cannot be properly evaluated if it does not clearly specify the volume of water deliveries whose negative impacts are to be mitigated. The draft BDCP suggests that the water requirements are based on the amount of acreage and crops that contractors have grown, or on the maximum deliveries specified by the SWP contracts―up to 4.173 MAF/year by 2021 (draft BDCP, Chapters 4.3.1 and 5.1). There is no mention that quantities diverted may be constrained by various provisions of California water law, by possible changes in the extent of irrigated agriculture south of the Delta, and by potential changes in cropping patterns fueled by globalizing forces of supply and demand for food. The draft BDCP also fails to identify and integrate demand management actions with other proposed mitigation actions. A conservation plan should address issues of water use efficiency and should account for future trends in other variables that drive the demand for agricultural and urban water supplies. These issues are directly pertinent to the establishment of a water use strategy and they bear importantly on the costs of restoration actions intended to minimize adverse ecological effects. The BDCP’s lack of attention to these issues constitutes a significant omission, given the intensifying scarcity of water in California.
In short, synthesis at all levels is a key ingredient in converting a document into a plan. The lack of synthesis constitutes a systemic problem in the draft BDCP. The panel recognizes that the challenge of linking tactics and strategy with a problem this complex is great, but no plan is either complete or likely to point the way toward success without meeting that challenge.