Delta Decisions

Critical decisions are ahead in efforts to improve the state’s water supply reliability and restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, one of California’s most important natural assets. The Delta is also the single most critical link in California’s water supply system, serving as the hub for both the State Water Project (SWP) and the federal Central Valley Project (CVP) that together serve more than 25 million Californians and millions of acres of farmland.

Delta Stewardship Council

One of the most closely watched efforts is development of a Delta Plan to guide state and local actions in the Delta to further the co-equal goals of improved water supply reliability and ecosystem health.

The seven-member Delta Stewardship Council, a new entity created by the 2009 legislation, has issued several staff drafts of the plan and is expected to begin an environmental review in late summer. The council is charged with adopting a final plan by January 2012.

ACWA and a coalition of urban and agricultural water agencies, statewide associations and other organizations have submitted an Alternate Delta Plan to the Delta Stewardship Council as an alternative to the latest staff drafts of the Delta Plan.

Bay-Delta Conservation Plan

The Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) process is developing a comprehensive plan to obtain long-term operating permits under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts.  The proposed BDCP conservation strategy includes a more modern and reliable water conveyance system in the Delta, restoration of up to 115,000 acres of natural habitat, and actions to address other stressors affecting the Delta ecosystem. An administrative draft of the plan is expected sometime this spring.

State Water Resources Control Board Flow Objectives for the Delta

The State Water Resources Control Board has initiated a process to evaluate potential changes to Delta outflow and inflow requirements as part of its review of the 2006 Water Quality Control Plan for the Bay-Delta.

The State Board will consider issues highlighted in a 2009 staff report on the plan as well as information from a 2010 staff report that identified new flow criteria to protect aquatic resources in the Delta. The flow criteria, developed in response to comprehensive water legislation enacted in 2009, did not consider impacts on water supply or other beneficial uses and did not balance public trust resource protection with other public interest needs for water.


Latest News about Delta Decisions

The public review draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and accompanying environmental documents are now expected to be released on Dec... read»
SACRAMENTO –Timothy Quinn, executive director of the statewide Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), issued the following... read»
A 20,000-page consultant-prepared document describing the potential environmental effects of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan was posted May... read»
State Officials Share Approach to BDCP Decisions
Two state officials with pivotal roles in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan shared their approaches to the decisions ahead at a luncheon... read»
Gov. Jerry Brown made an unscheduled appearance at the Association of California Water Agencies’ conference on Wednesday and told the... read»