United States Bureau of Reclamation & California Department of Water Resources

As a subcontractor to CDM Smith, the US Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Water Resources engaged ERA Economics to evaluate the potential economic impacts to Yolo Bypass agriculture as a result of extending the frequency and duration of inundation events to support potential fish habitat benefits. The economic analysis involved a complicated linkage to crop agronomic (yield) models, hydrodynamic model outputs, and geospatial representation of Yolo Bypass cropping decisions.

ERA applied a calibrated economic model of Yolo Bypass agriculture to assess the effects of additional flooding on planting times, crop yields, and resulting agricultural revenues. The analysis was developed at a regional level of detail to support the EIR/S. ERA applied a series of pre- and post-processing routines to the economic model and underlying data to adhere to federal (NED) guidelines for economic evaluation of water supply projects.

The project involved stakeholder engagement to review data and production practices in the bypass, as well as technical coordination across a range of technical experts to link the economic framework to related technical analyses. The technical efforts of the project spanned 5 years, from initial draft analyses to technical review and publication of documents.

The ERA team presented draft and final results at a series of technical meetings, stakeholder meetings, and public meetings over the project timeline. The economic modeling framework was reviewed, along with other models applied for the project, in a public Scientific Review Panel convened by the Delta Stewardship Council in the fall of 2017. The economic analysis was favorably reviewed as part of the final report issued by the panel of technical experts and reviewers.