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.
- Read the Alternate Delta Plan
- Read the seven-page policy letter
- Read ACWA's press release on the Alternate Delta Plan
- Read other statements of support for the Alternate Delta Plan
- Read the Delta Stewardship Council's fifth staff draft
- Read the Ag-Urban Coalition's comments on the fifth staff draft
- Read the Ag-Urban Coalition's comments on the sixth (final) staff draft
- Read the Ag-Urban Coalition's comments on the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report
- Read more about the Delta Stewardship Council
- Read comments on the fifth staff draft submitted by a coalition of environmental organizations
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.