On a parallel path, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has now created theDelta Conveyance Office (DCO), which will oversee the work of the DCA. More information is availablehere.
The DCA will hold its first meeting on May 17, 2018. During this meeting, the DCA Board of Directors will consider entering into a management partnership with DWR.
The State Water Contractors (SWC), as a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation, does not hold a water supply contract with DWR and is accordingly not party to the DCA agreement. However, SWC member agencies that are not directly represented on the DCA Board will have an at-large representative. The SWC is pleased to announce those member agencies have selected Sarah Palmer, Director for the Zone 7 Water Agency, as its primary at-large representative and Doug Headrick, General Manager of the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, as its at-large alternate representative, assuming its Board of Directors elects to join the DCA.
“Our mission to modernize California’s primary water delivery system took another incredibly important step forward today,” said Jennifer Pierre, General Manager for the State Water Contractors. “Northern and Southern California public water agencies have united in a partnership to efficiently and responsibly advance the construction of one of the most important infrastructure projects of our lifetime. We anticipate several other public water agencies to join the DCA in the coming weeks and months.”
“Thoughtful decision-making, transparency and a commitment to public participation will be central to the mission of the DCA as it assumes responsibility for building California WaterFix,” added Pierre.
BACKGROUND THE EXPERTISE TO EXECUTE
Under DWR’s oversight, the DCA will pull the best and brightest from DWR, public water agencies and consultants throughout the industry to manage the design and construction of California WaterFix.
As a public agency, the DCA will provide a means for the beneficiaries of the project to pool expertise and resources to safely design, construct and deliver the project on time, on budget and in accordance with approved specifications, while managing risk prudently and ensuring compliance with all applicable laws. It also allows the public to stay informed about the DCA’s actions and investments, and the progress of the project.
The DCA’s responsibilities will be as follows:
Implement final planning and design, construction and all financial accounting
Develop the program’s strategic spending and business plans
Let and manage construction contracts
Select and supervise the Executive Director, Engineering Design Manager and other staff/consultants
Develop and implement a program-wide safety policy and approach to risk management
Ensure compliance with construction specifications and mitigation measures
Provide regular updates and reports to DWR
Maintain transparency through the DCA Board and public information programs
Finalize remaining permits and ensure compliance with terms
Construction of California WaterFix will begin once all the necessary permits are complete, which is anticipated to be toward the end of this year.
The DCA will deliver the project to DWR after construction is complete.
The State Water Contractors is a statewide, non-profit association of 27 public agencies from Northern, Central and Southern California that purchase water under contract from the California State Water Project. Collectively the State Water Contractors deliver water to more than 25 million residents throughout the state and more than 750,000 acres of agricultural land.
Statement from the Metropolitan Water District:
Randy Record, chairman of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement regarding the formation of the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Joint Powers Authority for California WaterFix:
“With today’s formation of the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Joint Powers Authority, we are taking another important step forward to build California WaterFix and provide much of our state with the water supply reliability it needs in a climate change world.
“Using a Design and Construction Authority, Metropolitan and the other public water agencies that are investing in California WaterFix will be able to safely manage, design and construct the project with transparency and accountability, while the state Department of Water Resources maintains a strong and important oversight role. We are confident this partnership is the best structure to manage risk and ensure WaterFix is built on time, on budget and to the highest engineering standards.”
From Director Tony Estremera at the Santa Clara Valley Water District:
Today, the partners in the California WaterFix formed the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Joint Powers Authority (DCA) – the agency that will take on the planning, design and construction of the project.
The formation of the DCA represents a milestone in years of collaboration, and begins the process of ensuring that Santa Clara County will be able to get a clean and safe water supply while protecting the environment. Further, the Santa Clara Valley Water District will lead the charge as we move ahead with the important work of improving water supply reliability for our county and the state. I look forward to the challenge of implementing this project, as the Santa Clara Valley Water District and our partners commit to continuing this work through transparent public processes.
The first meeting of the DCA will take place on Thursday, May 17. The agenda is available at www.dcdca.org.