Agricultural and Economic Impacts of Yolo Bypass Fish Habitat Proposals

TitleAgricultural and Economic Impacts of Yolo Bypass Fish Habitat Proposals
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsHowitt R, MacEwan D, Garnache C, Medellín-Azuara J, Marchand P, Brown D, Six J, Lee J
Date Published05/2013
Keywordsagriculture, bypass, economic, Floodplain, salmon, Yolo
AbstractThe California Natural Resources Agency and the U.S. Department of the Interior propose to increase the frequency and duration of flooding in the Yolo Bypass for seasonal fish rearing habitat, both as a major component of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and also as a Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) in the federal National Marine Fisheries Service’s Biological Opinion on the Coordinated Long Term Water Operations of the Central Valley Plan and State Water Plan for winter run salmon, spring run salmon, and Central Valley steelhead. While the state and federal government have not yet fully defined proposals to flood the Bypass for juvenile salmon, the project will have broader support and cost less if state and federal agencies minimize effects on existing land uses such as flood protection, migratory waterfowl and other terrestrial species habitat, and agriculture. This report provides a quantitative framework for assessment of agricultural impacts of flooding in the Yolo Bypass consistent with initial proposals in the Biological Opinion RPA and BDCP Conservation Measure 2 (CM2). Since the RPA and CM2 are not fully developed, this report evaluates 12 possible scenarios and describes a range of possible impacts on agriculture and the Yolo County economy. Of the 12 scenarios evaluated, 10 scenarios assume annual inundation through a specified date (RPA scenarios) and 2 scenarios assume opportunistic inundation associated with natural overtopping of the Fremont Weir (CM2 scenarios). The modeling framework developed for this report can be used to evaluate any future proposal, and therefore is a useful tool for ongoing discussions regarding project design.