On April 29, 2019, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-10-19 (EO) directing the California Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Finance (collectively, the “agencies”), to prepare a 21st century water resilience portfolio to meet the needs of California’s communities, economy and environment in the face of water supply uncertainty, climate change and the state’s growing population.  The EO’s sweeping directive requires the agencies to reassess the 2016 California Water Action Plan priorities and develop regionally- and resource- integrated solutions to achieve the Executive’s goals.

Among other programmatic developments, the EO formally sets in motion the redirection of the State’s policies and actions relating to the protection of the Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) and other special status species.  In particular, the EO directs state agencies to assess the modernization of the Bay Delta water conveyance system with a single tunnel, rather than the previously proposed twin tunnel system.  In the days following the issuance of the EO, the California Department of Water Resources withdrew its approvals related to the twin tunnel system in order to commence environmental review and planning for the smaller conveyance system ordered by Governor Newsom.