The Delta Pumping Plant Fish Protection Agreement stems from an
early effort to balance the needs of fish protection and State Water Project
operations. Negotiated in the mid-1980s, the agreement
foreshadowed future battles over fish protection and pumping.
[See also Sacramento-San Joaquin
Overseen by the California Department of Water Resources,
California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, the Delta Risk Management Strategy evaluated
the sustainability of the
Joaquin Delta and assessed major risks from floods, seepage,
subsidence and earthquakes, sea level rise and climate change.
The endangered Delta smelt is a 3-inch fish found only in the
Joaquin Delta. It is considered especially sensitive because
it lives just one year, has a limited diet and exists primarily
in brackish waters (a mix of river-fed fresh and salty ocean
waters that is typically found in coastal estuaries).
Created as a state agency in 2009, the seven-member panel is
responsible for creating a plan, known as the Delta Plan, to deliver a more
reliable water supply while also protecting, restoring, and
enhancing restoring the Delta ecosystem [to learn more about the
estuary, see Sacramento-San Joaquin
Recurrent droughts and uncertainties about future water supplies
have led several California communities to look to saltwater for
supplemental supplies through a process known as desalination.
Desalination removes salt and other dissolved minerals from water
and is one method to reclaim water for other uses. This can occur
along the coast and in the interior at spots that draw from
ancient salt water deep under the surface.
With a holding capacity of more than 260 billion gallons, Diamond
Valley Lake is
Southern California’s largest reservoir. It sits about 90
miles southeast of Los Angeles and just west of Hemet in
Riverside County where it was built in 2000. The offstream
reservoir was created by three large dams that connect the surrounding
hills, costing around $1.9 billion and doubling the region’s
water storage capacity.
Joan Didion is a native California author and playwright whose
famous writings have featured California water issues.
Born and reared in Sacramento, she’s written extensively and
personally about her feelings on the subject of water. In her
memoir, Where I Was From, she tells not only the story about her
pioneering family’s roots in the Sacramento area but also of the
seasonal flooding, the water politics and controversies, and the
California State Water Project (SWP) and federal Central Valley
Disadvantaged communities are
the areas throughout California that are affected most by
economic, health and environmental burdens. These burdens include
poverty, high unemployment, increased risk of asthma and heart
disease and often limited access to safe and clean drinking
The California Department of Water Resources defines a
disadvantaged community as one with an annual median household
income that is less than 80 percent of the statewide annual
figure. (California’s median household income in 2016 was
$67,739, according to the state Department of Finance).