June 13, 2011 - The Department of Water Resources has released the Delta Risk Management Strategy Phase 2 Report and Executive Summary. The Delta Risk Management Strategy (DRMS) Phase 2 report builds on the knowledge gained from the DRMS Phase 1 assessment to evaluate scenarios which could reduce the risks to our State economy. The methods include a selection of improvement strategies considered at the time of the study in 2009; however, today, there are more options in play. The information in the report provides insight to methods that may be used by the Department and others to manage risk.Among the obvious signs that the study is from 2009 are that it uses a $4.9 billion cost estimate for a peripheral canal that is dated from 2007. The results, and I have not reviewed to see how reliable the calculations are, show that improved levee strategies and isolated conveyance rank very close, and anyone who would interpret the results as saying isolated conveyance is best should realize that any net benefit advantage from isolated conveyance completely disapears if one uses more current cost estimates.
There are many other curious aspects of the report, such as its combining conveyance scenarios with putting highways on piers and armored infrastructure corridors that confuse the issues. At this point, the phase 2 report will probably have little impact on the debate. However, it is hard to use the DRMS Phase 2 results to justify a peripheral canal over upgrading levees in the way that many spun Phase 1.
The timing and low profile of this release is probably the most interesting aspect of it. Very odd. I would be interested in hearing more about that if anyone knows and is willing to share.