DOI Secretarial Order No. 3343 - Drought and Climate Change, California's Water Supply

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell issued a Secretarial Order on January 4, 2017 directing the Department of the Interior and its bureaus to take action to address the effects of drought and climate change on California’s water supply and imperiled wildlife. The order supports the State’s goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and to protect, restore, and enhance the environmental quality of the Bay-Delta.

The order provides direction for the Department, and particularly Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), to complete the technical, scientific, and analytical work necessary to make permitting, regulatory, and other decisions associated with various water initiatives.

It calls for six actions:

1. California WaterFix Environmental Review. The order directs Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to complete in a timely manner the Biological Opinions under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, and a Record of Decision on the environmental documents for California WaterFix. (WaterFix is the State’s plan to upgrade infrastructure in the estuary where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers meet before flowing to San Francisco Bay.) The order directs FWS to take all necessary actions to issue an initial Draft Biological Opinion in January 2017, and a final Biological Opinion is to be issued by April 2017.

2. Collaborative Delta Science Engagement Process. The order directs Reclamation, FWS, and USGS to work collaboratively with the state and other federal agencies to use the Adaptive Management Framework developed as part of California WaterFix to help guide scientific studies and monitoring, assist with Central Valley Project and State Water Project operations, and achieve the co-equal goals for the Bay Delta.

3. Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy. This strategy addresses both the risk to the critically endangered Delta smelt - formerly one of the most abundant fish in the Delta - and the risk to water supplies. The order directs Reclamation and FWS to closely coordinate with state and federal agencies and others in implementing all facets of the Strategy.

4. Re-initiation of Consultation under the Endangered Species Act on Coordinated Long-Term Operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. The order directs Reclamation and FWS to work with other state and federal agencies to carry out the work necessary to complete the recently re-initiated consultation on long term operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.

5. Active Engagement in Development of Voluntary Agreements for Flow Requirements and Coordination on Flows with ESA Requirements. Reclamation and FWS will work with other agencies to provide information to the State Water Resources Control Board as part of its Bay-Delta Plan initiative.

6. Winter-run Chinook “Species in the Spotlight” Action Plan. The order underscores that implementation of the National Marine Fisheries Service 2016 “Species in the Spotlight” Action Plan is an essential element of reducing both near-term and long-term risks to Winter-run Chinook salmon.

 

In order to maintain access to this website, we are linking to an archived version of the website saved on January 5, 2017. The original link can be found here: https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/sec_order_no._3343_cal_water_0.pdf

 

Publication Date: January 4, 2017

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