Project Profile: Public Awareness & Information

Striking a Balance for the CALFED Bay-Delta Program

The largest estuary on the West Coast, the San Francisco Bay / Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta Estuary (the Bay-Delta) is a vital resource to California. It supports more than 750 species of plants and animals and is the hub of the state's water supply system, providing drinking water for two-thirds of Californians and irrigation water for more than seven million acres of the most productive farmland in the world.

Due to a variety of factors, over several decades the Bay-Delta system has suffered ongoing decline, further hampered by a lack of agreement among competing interests as to how to both use and restore the Bay-Delta. To address these issues, the CALFED Bay-Delta Program was created. An alliance of State and Federal agencies, CALFED's goal is to develop a long-term comprehensive plan to restore ecological health and improve water management for beneficial uses of the Bay-Delta system.

In support of this goal, CALFED developed the Preferred Program Alternative (PPA), which identifies four interrelated problem areas - ecosystem health, water quality, levee system integrity, and water supply reliability - and offers four strategies for solving each of the problem areas. Eight integrated programs carry out these strategies. As the PPA represents an enormous amount of work, compromise, and balance among the varying interests, CALFED wanted to disseminate information about the PPA to a wide audience in hopes of garnering support for the project's implementation.

DDP created a 23-minute informational video, Striking a Balance, for CALFED to introduce and explain California's complex and controversial water problem to audiences with varying degrees of knowledge and awareness of CALFED and the PPA. Used as an introduction to statewide public hearings, the video conveys how crucial a comprehensive water management plan is to ensure the health and prosperity of Californians and the state's natural resources. Further, the program stresses the collaborative effort involved and the balance that has been achieved in offering benefits to all competing interests. As the PPA reflects the concerns and input of representatives of agriculture, urban areas, environment, fishing, business, and rural counties, so does the video program.

Motion graphics and animation are incorporated in the program to effectively illustrate the complex, interrelated nature of the issues involved and the comprehensiveness and balance the PPA offers. Excerpts from the video will be posted to CALFED's Web site to reach an even greater audience and to heighten the site's overall educational impact.

"[The video] has been very well received, and many [people] have requested copies. . . . The quality of the finished product--photography, sound, graphics - is excellent and reflects [DDP's] meticulous attention to detail. In the dozens of times I have viewed the program, I have not caught a single error - not a misspoken word, not a misspelled title."
--Valerie Holcomb, CALFED Bay-Delta Program

View sample video sequences below:

Bay-Delta Overview (3.7 MB)

Delta Animation (1.8 MB)

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