A Review of the Use of Science
California’s Draft Bay Delta
Panel to Review California’s Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan
Water Science and Technology Board
Ocean Studies Board
Division on Earth and Life Studies
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
Support for this study was provided by the Department of the Interior under contract no. 80221-A-G100. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number 13: 978-0-309-21231-1
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Photo on the cover is courtesy of David Policansky.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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PANEL TO REVIEW CALIFORNIA’S
DRAFT BAY DELTA CONSERVATION PLAN *
HENRY J. VAUX, JR., Chair, Professor Emeritus, University of California
MICHAEL E. CAMPANA, Oregon State University, Corvallis
JEROME B. GILBERT, Consultant, Orinda, California
ALBERT E. GIORGI, BioAnalysts, Inc., Redmond, Washington
ROBERT J. HUGGETT, Professor Emeritus, College of William and Mary, Seaford, Virginia
CHRISTINE A. KLEIN, University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida
SAMUEL N. LUOMA, U.S. Geological Survey, Emeritus, Menlo Park, California
THOMAS MILLER, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons
STEPHEN G. MONISMITH, Stanford University, California
JAYANTHA OBEYSEKERA, South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach
HANS W. PAERL, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
MAX J. PFEFFER, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
DESIREE D. TULLOS, Oregon State University, Corvallis
LAURA J. HELSABECK, Staff Officer
DAVID POLICANSKY, Scholar
STEPHEN D. PARKER, Director, Water Science and Technology Board
SUSAN ROBERTS, Director, Ocean Studies Board
ELLEN DE GUZMAN, Research Associate
SARAH BRENNAN, Senior Program Assistant
* Biographical information for panel members is in Appendix H. This project was organized and overseen by the NRC’s Water Science and Technology Board (lead) and Ocean Studies Board, whose rosters are in Appendixes F and G, respectively.
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This panel’s review of the draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) has occurred alongside myriad activities in the Delta to facilitate a secure water future for California, including an environmental future, and alongside related activities of the National Research Council (NRC). I particularly want to make clear the distinction between the Delta Plan and the BDCP, and between this panel’s report and two related NRC reports, one already published, one still in preparation.
The Delta Plan (formally the Delta Stewardship Plan) is a comprehensive umbrella plan mandated by the California Delta Protection Act of 2009 to advance the goals of improving the reliability of California’s water supply and restoring, protecting, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. It is overseen by the state of California and a broadly represented council of stakeholders as authorized by statute. Although the Delta Plan was not part of this review and is mentioned only incidentally in this report, it is related to the BDCP to some degree by intent and to some degree by statute (those relationships are briefly discussed in the body of this report). Readers should understand from the outset, however, that it is the BDCP, and only the BDCP that is reviewed in this report.
The related NRC activities are being conducted by the Committee on Sustainable Water and Environmental Management in the California Bay-Delta. The NRC appointed that committee in response to a request from Congress and the Department of the Interior to provide advice on two topics: (1) the scientific basis of actions identified in two biological opinions by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect threatened and endangered species in the Delta, and (2) how to most effectively incorporate science and adaptive management into a holistic program for managing and restoring the Delta. Advice on the first topic was provided in a report published in March 2010 titled A Scientific Assessment of Alternatives for Reducing Water Management Effects on Threatened and Endangered Fishes in California’s Bay-Delta. The committee expects to release its advice on the second topic late in2011.
While the committee was working on its second report, the U.S. Secretaries of Interior and Commerce asked the NRC to review the draft BDCP in terms of its use of science and adaptive management. In response, the NRC established a separate Panel to Review California’s Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which is the author of this report. Although there is considerable overlap between the membership of the committee and this panel, the two groups were appointed separately, have separate statements of task, and have worked independently of each other.
This report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their di-
verse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with the procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the NRC in making its published report as sound as possible, and to ensure that the report meets NRC institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
We thank the following for their review of this report: Frank Davis, University of California, Santa Barbara; Holly Doremus, University of California, Berkeley;Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security;George Hornberger, Vanderbilt University; Cynthia Jones, Old Dominion University;Jay Lund, University of California, Davis; Judy Meyer, University of Georgia; and Lynn Scarlett, Resources for the Future.
Although these reviewers provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions and recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Michael Kavanaugh, Geosyntec Consultants, who was appointed by the NRC’s Report Review Committee and by Paul Risser, University of Oklahoma, who was appointed by the NRC’s Division on Earth and Life Studies. They were responsible for ensuring that an independent examination of this report was conducted in accordance with NRC institutional procedures and that all review comments received full consideration. Responsibility for this report’s final contents rests entirely with the authoring committee and the NRC.
Henry J. Vaux, Jr.
Panel to Review California’s Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan