Delta Stewardship Council
The Delta Stewardship Council was created as an independent state agency in 2009 to achieve California’s coequal goals for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta of providing a more reliable water supply for the state and protecting, restoring and enhancing the Delta ecosystem.
The seven-member Council consists of four members appointed by the governor, one each by the Senate and Assembly, and the seventh is the chair of the Delta Protection Commission. The Council oversees the agency that developed and implemented the Delta Plan to address current and predicted challenges related to the Delta’s ecology, flood management, land use, water quality and water supply reliability.
Science is a vital part of the Delta Stewardship Council’s planning efforts. The Council appoints a Lead Delta Scientist who oversees the Delta Science Program, which is charged with providing the best, unbiased scientific information to inform water and environmental management decisions for the Delta. In addition, the Council appoints a 10-member Delta Independent Science Board, which has broad authority to provide oversight of the scientific research, monitoring and assessment programs that support adaptive management of the Delta.
For more than a decade, the Council has developed and implemented the Delta Plan. The Delta Plan includes 14 regulatory policies and 95 recommendations designed to address current and predicted challenges facing the Delta.
The Delta Plan calls for the adoption of water flow objectives to benefit the Delta fishery and ecosystem. The State Water Resources Control Board adopted an updated flow objective for the San Joaquin River watershed in 2018. A similar effort is still in process for the Sacramento River watershed.
The Council in 2021, through its Delta Adapts initiative, has been evaluating the vulnerability of the Delta and Suisun Marsh to climate change impacts through end of century.