The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) is California’s most crucial water and ecological resource. The Delta is formed by the Sacramento River flowing south to meet the north-flowing San Joaquin River just south of Sacramento, where the rivers mingle with smaller tributaries and tidal flows, and move out into San Francisco Bay.
The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is a process for obtaining long-term project permits for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta centering on the equal goals of conservation of species and helping to improve water supplies and delivery.
The Delta smelt is an endangered 3-inch fish that is found only in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The smelt’s tendency to swim near the State Water Project and Central Valley Project export pumps in the South Delta has complicated water deliveries to farmers and cities.
The San Francisco Bay (Bay) drains water from 40 percent of California. This includes flows originating from the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers that make their way down through Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta through the Bay to the Pacific Ocean.