Topic: Sacramento San Joaquin Delta

Overview

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is California’s most crucial water and ecological resource.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Proposal to increase Delta water flows causes contention between farmers, fisheries

Following nine years of research, a California agency has proposed to increase water flows in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. But the decision is causing contention between farmers and fisheries. … The California Water Board is scheduled to vote on the proposal in August.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: California says this chemical causes cancer. So why is it being sprayed into drinking water?

Since 2010, Boating and Waterways has put more than 14,000 gallons of Roundup into the Delta, according to a McClatchy review of data provided by the agency. The Roundup treatments are part of a concerted effort to kill nonnative aquatic plants, which have become so pervasive in the Delta that NASA scientists can see them from space.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Commentary: Big water moves mark Gov. Brown’s final months

Nearly six decades ago, shortly after becoming governor, Pat Brown persuaded the Legislature and voters to approve one of the nation’s largest public works projects, the State Water Plan. New reservoirs in Northern California, including the nation’s highest dam at Oroville on the Feather River, would capture runoff from snowfall in the Sierra, and a massive aqueduct would carry water southward to San Joaquin Valley farms and fast-growing Southern California cities.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta endures as another place, time

I [Carl Nolte] just spent a couple of days in another world, right in the heart of California. This is the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which is as close — and as far away — from the state’s big cities as you can imagine. You can see the edge of the delta from a BART train heading toward Pittsburg.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Water wars head upstream as state considers cutbacks for senior Central Valley irrigation districts

More than two decades after Los Angeles was forced to cut water diversions to protect California’s natural resources, the state is poised to impose similar restrictions on San Francisco and some of the Central Valley’s oldest irrigation districts. The proposal represents a dramatic new front in one of California’s most enduring water fights: the battle over the pastoral delta that is part of the West Coast’s largest estuary and also an important source of water for much of the state.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Interior Secretary Zinke visits reservoirs, signaling federal interest in water fight

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke paid a visit Friday to two reservoirs that are embroiled in an intense fight over water allocations in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. … Zinke was accompanied by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, whose two amendments to block part of the state’s “water grab” passed the House of Representatives on Thursday. Zinke, along with Congressman Tom McClintock, sat at a picnic table to talk with media at Don Pedro.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Delta tunnels get ‘real’ as backers seek $1.6 billion loan from Trump administration

Critical permits and legal challenges are still pending, and some farming groups still haven’t committed to paying for part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial $17 billion Delta tunnels project. But even with the uncertainty, backers of the project are poised to ask the Trump administration for a $1.6 billion federal loan that millions of Californians ultimately would have to repay through increases in their water bills.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto councilman rallying support to contribute in effort to fight state water plan

A Modesto councilman called on the city to contribute toward efforts to resist a state water grab that’s become an emotionally charged issue in the region. Councilman Mani Grewal said at Tuesday’s council meeting the state plan to take large amounts of Tuolumne River water to rejuvenate the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta would create a “regulatory drought” in Stanislaus County.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Where would extra water in Sacramento River come from?

The framework of a plan for the Sacramento River watershed released Friday by the state Water Resources Control Board calls for an increase in the amount of water running into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and out to sea, but it leaves the question of where that water would come from largely unanswered.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Plans would reduce water diversions in north more than south

A final draft plan for the San Joaquin River system has been released by state water regulators. … But Friday the State Water Board also released a “framework” for a similar plan being prepared for the Sacramento River watershed, which would see even larger reductions of diversions in the north valley.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Metropolitan Water District again approves Delta tunnel funding

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Tuesday reaffirmed its approval of an $11-billion investment in a massive water delivery project with a vote that highlighted a deepening division on the agency’s board.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Efforts to fight nutria in Delta ramping up

Nearly three months ago, a Delta farmer from Roberts Island delivered the carcass of a dead nutria to the desk of Tim Pelican, San Joaquin County’s agricultural commissioner. It was the first of two nutria discovered in the county in April.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: New California water plan aimed at boosting fish habitat

California water officials on Friday released a plan to increase flows through a major central California river, an effort that would save salmon and other fish but deliver less water to farmers in the state’s agricultural heartland.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California has a new plan for allocating its water, and it means less for farmers

State regulators proposed sweeping changes in the allocation of California’s water Friday, leaving more water in Northern California’s major rivers to help ailing fish populations — and giving less to farming and human consumption.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Latest Western Water explores invasive species monitoring in the Delta, highlights Cosumnes River Preserve

For more than 100 years, invasive species have made the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta their home, disrupting the ecosystem and costing millions of dollars annually in remediation. The latest invader is the nutria, a large rodent native to South America that causes concern because of its propensity to devour every bit of vegetation in sight and destabilize levees by burrowing into them. Wildlife officials are trapping the animal and trying to learn the extent of its infestation.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Prop. 68 passes to inject $4.1 billion into CA water, land conservation projects

Proposition 68 was approved with 56 percent of the vote to authorize the state to borrow $4.1 billion for investments in outdoor recreation, land conservation and water projects, according to the latest results Wednesday morning.

Western Water Space Invaders Gary Pitzer

It’s Not Just Nutria — Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has 185 Invasive Species, But Tracking Them is Uneven
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Delta science panel urges greater coordination, funding of invasive species monitoring

Water hyacinth choke a channel in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.For more than 100 years, invasive species have made the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta their home, disrupting the ecosystem and costing millions of dollars annually in remediation.

The latest invader is the nutria, a large rodent native to South America that causes concern because of its propensity to devour every bit of vegetation in sight and destabilize levees by burrowing into them. Wildlife officials are trapping the animal and trying to learn the extent of its infestation.

Western Water Water Education Foundation

ON THE ROAD: Cosumnes River Preserve Offers Visitors a Peek at What the Central Valley Once Looked Like
Preserve at the edge of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta includes valley oak forests and wintering grounds for cranes

Sandhill cranes gather at the Cosumnes River Preserve south of Sacramento.Deep, throaty cadenced calls — sounding like an off-key bassoon — echo over the grasslands, farmers’ fields and wetlands starting in late September of each year. They mark the annual return of sandhill cranes to the Cosumnes River Preserve, 46,000 acres located 20 miles south of Sacramento on the edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Western Water

On the Road: Cosumnes River Preserve offers visitors a peek at what the Central Valley once looked like

Deep, throaty cadenced calls — sounding like an off-key bassoon — echo over the grasslands, farmers’ fields and wetlands starting in late September of each year. They mark the annual return of sandhill cranes to the Cosumnes River Preserve, 46,000 acres located 20 miles south of Sacramento on the edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Western Water

It’s not just nutria — Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has 185 invasive species, but tracking them is uneven

For more than 100 years, invasive species have made the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta their home, disrupting the ecosystem and costing millions of dollars annually in remediation. … Even though invasive plants and animals long have been known to exist in California’ water hub, tracking their extent in an area as large as the Delta — 738,000 acres — is an uneven task that could benefit from greater coordination and funding, a panel of experts recently told the Delta Independent Science Board.

Aquafornia news Solano County Daily Republic

Delta derelict removal fund passes Assembly vote

Legislation that creates a fund to help remove derelict commercial vessels from the Delta passed the Assembly on Wednesday. It was one of two bills authored by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Discovery Bay, to clear the Assembly and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Eradication of invasive rodent off to slow start in California

Before the midday heat had set in, Jeff Cann and Tim Kroeker were out of their Dodge pickup, trudging through waist-deep water in waders and rubber boots. The two wildlife biologists had come to this vast expanse of sun-soaked Central Valley wetlands on a recent morning to check in on the first traps that California has authorized in its nascent effort to hunt — and exterminate — the nutria.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Silicon Valley water agency votes to give $650 million to governor’s tunnel project

The South Bay’s largest water agency gave a big lift to Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan for a pair of water conveyance tunnels through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta on Tuesday, committing $650 million to the effort. The $17 billion tunnels project, which would help move water from Northern California to the drier south, has been among the governor’s top priorities but has lacked the necessary funding to move forward.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Santa Clara Valley Water District may fund Delta tunnels

In a dramatic reversal of its stance just six months ago, Silicon Valley’s largest water district has scheduled a vote Wednesday on a plan to commit up to $650 million to Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial proposal to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Q&A: California Delta a flash point for conflict as climate change unfolds

California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is vital to water supplies for 25 million people and 4 million acres of farmland. It is linked to the Pacific Ocean via San Francisco Bay, which makes this water supply uniquely vulnerable to sea level rise. Yet understanding sea level rise in the Delta is complicated.

Aquafornia news Undark

In the fate of the Delta smelt, warnings of conservation gone wrong

Peter Moyle, an eminent authority on the ecology and conservation of California’s fishes, stands on the narrow deck of a survey boat and gazes out over the sloughs of Suisun Marsh. The tall, tubular stems of tule reeds bend in the wind as a flock of pelicans soars past, their white wings edged in black. It’s an idyllic scene that hints at an earlier time, back before the Gold Rush, when undisturbed creeks and tidal marsh covered the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Invasive nutria’s discovery in Delta sets off alarm bells

Sometime after Tim Pelican arrived at work Monday, a farmer stopped by to deliver a package to San Joaquin County’s agricultural commissioner. The farmer’s package contained a dead nutria, a 2½–foot-long, 20-pound beast that looks like a beaver but is smaller and has a round, ratlike tail and white whiskers.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Dangerous non-native rodent found near Stockton — moving closer to Delta

The “triple threat” of invasive rodent species has made its way to the edge of the delta, officials said, putting the state’s fragile water infrastructure at risk. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tuesday that it had discovered the nutria, a large rat-like mammal that inhabits wet, rural areas, on agricultural land west of Stockton.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Destructive swamp rodents are knocking on the Delta’s door

The destructive invasive swamp rodents known as nutria are officially on the doorstep of one of the state’s most critically important waterways. State wildlife officials announced Tuesday that a nutria was killed on agricultural land west of Stockton in San Joaquin County.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: What, if anything, is lost in building one Delta tunnel instead of two?

Two tunnels, one or none? The question continues to swirl around plans to perform major surgery on the sickly heart of California’s water system. Confronted with a shortage of funding, state officials announced last month that they would move ahead with the construction of one giant water tunnel under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta rather than two.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Southern California water agency could vote soon on whether to bankroll Delta tunnels

Facing pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown, Southern California’s largest water agency could vote as soon as April on whether to take a majority stake in the twin-tunnels project Brown plans for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Invasive swamp rodent has California scrambling to come up with a battle plan

About the size of a beagle, they can quickly turn a lush green marsh to a wasteland. … They are called nutria, and right now they’re starting to spread through the waterways leading into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the ecologically fragile network of sloughs and rivers that functions as the heart of California’s flood-control and water distribution system.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Blog: Advice on voluntary settlements for California’s Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Part 1

The State Water Resources Control Board and the parties seeking to incorporate voluntary settlement agreements in the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan should identify a specific, tractable set of problems that can be addressed over the next 15 years through this plan. … Members of the Brown administration asked a small group of us to offer views on elements that should be considered in such settlements.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

BREAKING NEWS: Brown administration working to scale down $17 billion Delta tunnels project

Faced with a shortage of money and political support after seven years of work, Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is working on a plan to scale back one of his key legacy projects, a $17 billion proposal to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to make it easier to move water from Northern California to the south.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Trump move to boost Delta pumping raises fears about fish impacts

In the final days of 2017, President Donald Trump’s administration announced it would consider sending as much water as possible from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to farmers and cities to the south. The notice comes as a follow-up to a speech Trump made in Fresno during his presidential campaign, when he condemned the downstream flow of river water into the ocean as “insane.”

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Hopes for Delta smelt rebound dashed by record-low survey

A tiny fish caught in California’s tug of war over water has become harder to find than ever, a state survey found, despite a very wet winter last year that had raised hopes for a bounce back after five years of drought.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

As fish disappear, Trump administration seeks to pump more California water south

The Trump administration, teeing up a fight with California regulators, is trying to pump more water through the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the southern half of the state despite fresh evidence of the estuary’s shrinking fish population.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Timeline: The long history of California’s Delta tunnels plan

It’s been more than half a century since Californians started talking seriously about building a new conveyance system – canals or tunnels – to divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta to south Delta pumps for export to farms and cities in the south.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Santa Clara Valley Water District rejects governor’s twin Delta tunnels plan

In a landmark vote closely watched across California, Silicon Valley’s largest water agency on Tuesday rejected Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17 billion plan to build two giant tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Despite some opposition from Los Angeles, giant Southern California water agency approves Delta tunnels project

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s board voted to pay for about a quarter of the tunnels project, Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17.1 billion effort to re-engineer the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and improve water deliveries to south state cities and farms.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Governor visits Los Angeles to lobby for $17-billion Delta water project

With two key California WaterFix votes looming, Gov. Jerry Brown expressed confidence Thursday that water agencies will commit to enough funding to sustain the massive project. Brown was in Los Angeles to lobby for the $17-billion proposal, which would re-engineer the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the hub of California’s complex waterworks.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

The Delta is sinking: Scientists think planting rice will help

Bryan Brock stared out at a rice field on Twitchell Island, nestled between the meandering river paths of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. … Medium-grain rice was planted here in 2009 as a research project to see if rice could help the Delta survive the impacts of subsidence. The results have yielded both good and bad news.

Aquapedia background Layperson's Guide to the Delta

Estuary

Suisun Marsh, part of the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary, is the largest contiguous brackish water marsh on the West Coast of North America.Estuaries are places where fresh and salt water mix, usually at the point where a river enters the ocean. They are the meeting point between riverine environments and the sea, with a combination of tides, waves, salinity, fresh water flow and sediment. The constant churning means there are elevated levels of nutrients, making estuaries highly productive natural habitats.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Build it now, fix it later?

Even after a decade of studies and tens of thousands of pages of analysis, no one can say precisely what Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels will do to the Delta.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Delta survives latest ‘test’

The engineers who scrambled to prevent Delta farms from flooding this year have long insisted that the levees surrounding those low-lying islands are not as fragile as they’re sometimes portrayed to be.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Federal water legislation: ‘It’s going to be a fight’

Whatever the prognosticators say, the latest effort by south San Joaquin Valley Republicans to wring more water out of the Delta is undeniably ambitious. A bill that cleared the House of Representatives last week requires the Delta to be governed by 20-year-old water quality standards that scientists say are inadequate for the estuary’s freshwater ecosystem.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: How climate change could threaten the water supply for millions of Californians

When it comes to California and climate change, the predictions are staggering: coastal airports besieged by floodwaters, entire beaches disappearing as sea levels rise. Another disturbing scenario is brewing inland, in the sleepy backwaters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. 

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Q&A: California’s Delta poised to become massive carbon bank

The [Delta] Conservancy, a state agency that oversees environmental and economic opportunities in the Delta, recently won approval from the American Carbon Registry for a new carbon banking methodology. This means wetland restoration in the Delta (and other coastal areas of the state) can now generate money by selling greenhouse gas credits to polluting industries. 

Foundation Event

Test-Run a User’s Guide to Delta Restoration

The Delta Landscapes Project (funded by California Department of Fish & Wildlife) offers new insights into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, examining how to achieve better restoration outcomes by understanding how the natural systems originally functioned.

Given the complexities of the restoration efforts and the large number of agencies and stakeholders involved, in-person dialog among restoration practitioners, landowners and regulators is necessary to adapt the scientific findings into a usable framework for on-the-ground decision-making.

Civic Center Galleria
1110 West Capitol Ave.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Delta could be designated state’s first national heritage area

Congress will yet again consider whether the Delta should be designated as California’s first “national heritage area.” But don’t get too excited. This is the fourth go-around.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Levee patrols: First line of defense against floodwaters

Roberts Island hasn’t flooded severely since 1884. Yet here they are, fourth-generation farmer Mike Robinson and his son, Michael, spending their Friday night inspecting every inch of the 15-mile levee from a truck crawling along at 5 mph.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Lost Slough levee breaks, but gets patched up for now

A levee partially broke late Thursday in the Delta region of south Sacramento County, but officials said the problem was mostly patched up by nightfall.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Multiple Delta levee breaches reported

After three days of king tides and massive rainfall, levees in the Delta have begun to fail, flooding islands, duck clubs and other land north of Pittsburg, an island owner and emergency official said Thursday.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Storm surge: Levees under patrol as water problems in Delta grow

Flooding concerns intensified in the the Delta on Wednesday as huge volumes of water surged down creeks and streams into the low-lying river estuary.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Man fights big fine for using Delta wetlands as kite-surf spot

An East Bay man trying to create a kite-surfing hangout in the delta for Silicon Valley’s elite stepped up his unusual battle with water regulators Thursday, suing them after he was hit with an unprecedented $2.8 million fine for raising dikes across wetlands near Pittsburg.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

To save San Francisco Bay and its dying Delta, state aims to re-plumb California

The report’s findings were unequivocal: Given the current pace of water diversions, the San Francisco Bay and the Delta network of rivers and marshes are ecological goners, with many of its native fish species now experiencing a “sixth extinction,” environmental science’s most-dire definition of ecosystem collapse.

Aquafornia news Western Water on Tap

Delta report highlights need to restore legacy processes

Understanding the importance of the Bay-Delta ecosystem and working to restore it means grasping the scope of what it once was. That’s the takeaway message of a report released Nov. 14 by the San Francisco Estuary Institute. The report, “A Delta Renewed,” is the latest in a series sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).

Western Water Gary Pitzer

Delta Report Highlights Need to Restore Legacy Processes

Understanding the importance of the Bay-Delta ecosystem and working to restore it means grasping the scope of what it once was.

That’s the takeaway message of a report released Nov. 14 by the San Francisco Estuary Institute.

The report, “A Delta Renewed,” is the latest in a series sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). Written by several authors, the report says there is “cause for hope” to achieving large-scale Delta restoration in a way that supports people, farms and the environment. SFEI calls itself “one of California’s premier aquatic and ecosystem science institutes.”

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

The North Delta Habitat Arc: An ecosystem strategy for saving fish

Researchers from the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis propose a “grand strategy” to create interconnected habitat to help native fish and wildlife in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquapedia background

Zooplankton

Examples of zooplanktonZooplankton, which are floating aquatic microorganisms too small and weak to swim against currents, are are important food sources for many fish species in the Delta such as salmon, sturgeon and Delta smelt.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Algae outbreaks — Fed by drought, climate change, pollution

From the Klamath River in the north to Lake Elsinore in the south, aquatic algae blooms seem to be hitting every part of California this year.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Feds to take new look at Delta, endangered fish species

Scientists from two federal agencies are about to overhaul the rules governing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, potentially increasing protections for endangered fish populations and limiting the amount of water pumped to Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton goes green, but not in a good way

Either there’s been a spill at the local pea soup plant, or Stockton is suffering another nasty algae outbreak at the downtown waterfront. … The algae problem also has come up this week in Sacramento as state water officials begin extensive hearings that may determine the fate of the proposed Delta tunnels.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Los Angeles water district buys Delta islands

A Southern California agency that provides drinking water for 19 million people officially became a substantial Delta landowner for the first time Monday after escrow closed on its $175 million purchase of several large islands.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Southern California water district obtains Delta islands

Four islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and a chunk of a fifth are now officially the property of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, district officials announced Monday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Southern California water agency completes Delta islands purchase

A portion of the Delta is now owned by a powerful water agency from Los Angeles.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Southern California water district completes $175-million purchase of Delta islands

Southern California’s powerful water supplier has completed the $175-million purchase of five islands in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the ecologically sensitive region that’s a key source of water for the Southland.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: State Supreme Court sides with Southern California in epic water war over Delta islands

The state Supreme Court has cleared the way for Southern California’s powerful Metropolitan Water District to buy five islands at the epicenter of the delta’s water system, officials said Friday.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Delta interests get another delay on islands sale

Delta interests won another last-minute, temporary reprieve on Friday in their efforts to block Southern California’s controversial $175 million purchase of about 20,000 acres of land in the fragile estuary.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sale of Delta islands on hold – again

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s $175 million purchase of five islands in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is on hold again.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Delta islands sale blocked by court order again

The sale of four Delta islands to Southern California’s largest water district was put back on hold Friday by an appeals court as Northern California opponents plan to take their case to the state Supreme Court.

Aquafornia news Bay Area Indymedia

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Sacramento judge rules Delta Plan is ‘invalid’

Judge Michael Kenny of the Sacramento Superior Court today ruled that the Delta Plan is “invalid” after a successful legal challenge by multiple Delta parties who argued that the controversial plan is not protective of the water quality or the fish species that depend on fresh water flows for their survival.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Water users target Delta fish — again

A popular Delta sportfish may be on the hook yet again after water users mostly south of the estuary asked state officials this week to allow more of the fish to be caught, in order to reduce their numbers.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Appeals court puts temporary stop to Delta land buy

An appeals court has temporarily blocked a Southern California water district from purchasing more than 20,000 acres of land in the Delta.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Appellate court temporarily blocks Delta island sale

A state appellate court has temporarily blocked the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s $175 million purchase of five islands in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Delta islands: Court temporarily halts sale to Southern California water district

A state appeals court has temporarily blocked Southern California’s biggest water supplier from buying Delta farm islands that could be used for the governor’s plan for twin water tunnels.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Critical index finds smelt nearly extinct in Sacramento Delta

Delta smelt have hovered close to extinction for years, but biologists say they’ve never seen anything like this spring.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Another lawsuit filed to block water district’s Delta islands purchase

Another legal challenge has been filed seeking to block the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s $175 million purchase of five islands in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: California officials say Delta tunnels won’t harm north state water users

With months of contentious hearings ahead this summer, state and federal officials this week filed documents laying out their case that construction of two huge tunnels through the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would not harm north state water users.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Delta land deal clears legal hurdle

A San Joaquin County Superior Court judge on Thursday cleared the way for a Southern California water district to complete its purchase of 20,000 acres of land in the Delta, ruling that it was too soon to say how the property would be used.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Judge: California Delta land deal can move forward

Southern California’s largest water supplier can move ahead with plans to buy sprawling farmland that could be used to help build twin tunnels far to the north through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a judge ruled Thursday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Judge refuses to halt Delta land sale to Southern California agency

A judge has refused to block a Southern California water agency’s controversial purchase of five islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Delta lawyers denied in court

In a setback for Delta advocates, a San Joaquin County Superior Court judge on Friday declined to grant a restraining order that would have temporarily blocked a Southern California water agency from purchasing more than 20,000 acres of land in the heart of the estuary.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Sewer district awards $415 million contract despite legal questions

The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District hired Dragados USA to build a biological nutrient removal station, part of a larger $1.5 billion to $2 billion effort to meet stricter state standards on wastewater pollutants discharged into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Lawsuit accuses regulators of loosening Sacramento Delta water rules

Three environmentalist groups filed a lawsuit Friday alleging that to increase water flowing to farms and cities, state and federal regulators in the drought have repeatedly relaxed water-quality standards on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the detriment of its wild fish species.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Delta pumping to Southern California restricted despite rainy winter

For the first time in five years, Northern California’s rivers are roaring and its reservoirs are filled almost to the brim. But you’d hardly know it, based on how quiet it’s been at the two giant pumping stations at the south end of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Groups sue to block south state water district’s purchase of Delta islands

Just days after a powerful Southern California water agency announced it was spending $175 million to buy five islands in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a coalition of opponents has sued to demand environmental review of the purchase.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Groups sue California’s largest water wholesaler over land purchase (with audio)

Two counties, two water agencies, and environmental groups in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are suing California’s largest water wholesaler over its efforts to buy five islands in the Delta.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Striking back on Delta land buy — Lawsuit targets Southern California water agency

Declaring that the Delta “will not be the next Owens Valley,” San Joaquin and Contra Costa counties — along with farmers and environmental groups — sued Thursday to block a Southern California water district from buying more than 20,000 acres of farmland in the heart of the estuary.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Delta land purchase price $175 million; Southern California water provider signs deal

But attorneys for Delta farmers may be gearing up to challenge certain aspects of the sale, which would, for the first time, make Metropolitan a major landowner within the heart of California’s water distribution system.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Delta residents fear Metropolitan’s island purchase is ‘water grab’ (video)

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is spending $175 million to buy five islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Southern California water agency signs $175 million deal to buy Delta islands

Already viewed with suspicion and hostility in the north state water community, the powerful Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is broadening its reach by purchasing $175 million worth of real estate in the very hub of California’s water delivery network: the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A Delta tunnel project’s lofty ambitions have been scaled back

Only a close look at the Middle River revealed anything amiss in this part of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Instead of flowing north toward San Francisco Bay, as nature intended, the Middle was headed south. 

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Delta islands sale moves forward

Southern California’s giant water provider agreed Tuesday to purchase about 20,000 acres of land in the Delta, a move one Stockton-based advocacy group quickly called an “existential threat” to the future of the estuary.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Delta islands sold to big Southern Californian water agency

A giant water district for 19 million Southern Californians has approved the purchase of four Delta islands in a move arousing suspicions about its influence over the state’s water delivery system.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

MWD votes to buy 20,000 acres of island farmland in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The board of Southern California’s water importer voted Tuesday to buy 20,000 acres of farm islands in the heart of the state’s north-south plumbing system.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Southern California water agency moves to buy Delta islands

In a controversial move that could shake up California’s water community, Southern California’s most powerful water agency moved a giant step closer Tuesday to purchasing a cluster of islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Hope floats in hyacinth fight

With annual spraying of the invasive Delta weed expected to begin on Thursday, state officials say they’re hoping for a reduced crop this year.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Massive public works project will help clean Sacramento River (with audio)

Nearly a dozen sewage treatment plants dump wastewater into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta right now.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Delta research center proposed

The Delta is one of the most closely studied river estuaries in the world. But the scientists who are studying it are dispersed across the region, in different offices and in different towns.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)

Blog: Stressful times for drought-stricken Delta

The Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta is one of the West’s most important estuaries, and a critically important water source for millions of Californians. … We interviewed Phil Isenberg, vice chair of the Delta Stewardship Council and a member of PPIC’s board of directors, about the state of the Delta.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Hyacinth hunter on the Delta

[Gary] Rogers, 72, is a first responder of sorts in the war on water hyacinth. He patrols the Delta several times a week, investigating those backwater sloughs where the alien scourge is known to incubate.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation to open Delta Cross Channel Gates

The Bureau of Reclamation will open the Delta Cross Channel Gates today, Thursday, May 14, at approximately 9 a.m. The opening is needed to meet interior water quality standards in the Bay-Delta. The gates are scheduled to close on Monday, May 18, at approximately 9 a.m.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)

Blog: Caring about Delta levees during a drought

When the sun is shining and our rivers are low, we tend to forget about levees. However, you can’t ignore the 1,100 miles of levees in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. … This video is a simulation of what would happen if a severe earthquake hit the western Delta, causing widespread failure of levees. 

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘Limited’ Delta water exports OK’d

State water watchdogs may allow more water to be pumped south from the Delta this month, but only under “very limited circumstances.”

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Delta ‘Heritage’ designation sought for third time

On Tuesday, California senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer launched a third effort by introducing legislation in the Senate. U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, also introduced a bill in the House.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: 21st Century Delta — Dutch lessons on levee design, prioritization

In any lowland, levees define how humans live and how they disrupt native habitats. This is as true for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as it is for coastal Louisiana, Vietnam and the Netherlands. Flood safety in the Delta is a statewide concern because the region serves as a hub for delivering water to most Californians and supports native fish.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Editorial: Delta’s health should take priority over pumping

California needs to get serious about protecting the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, one of Silicon Valley’s most valuable water sources.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: 21st Century Delta — Reconciling the desired with the possible

Estuaries are hard places to understand and even harder to explain. Estuarine scientists, myself included, have struggled to learn how changes in the San Francisco Estuary led to declining fish populations and waning productivity, particularly in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: The forecast: Blowing hot? Cold? Only Gov. Brown knows

Throughout Gov. Jerry Brown’s record-length political career, we’ve never known quite what to expect. What’s real and what’s not? … Brown is determined to re-plumb the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a tough task politically that he attempted three decades ago until stopped by voters. 

Western Water Excerpt Jennifer Bowles

Finding the Right Balance: Managing Delta Salinity in Drought
September/October 2014

In wet years, dry years and every type of water year in between, the daily intrusion and retreat of salinity in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a constant pattern.

The cycle of ebb and flood is the defining nature of an estuary and prior to its transformation into an agricul­tural tract in the mid-19th century, the Delta was a freshwater marsh with plants, birds, fish and wildlife that thrived on the edge of the saltwater/freshwater interface.

Video

Overcoming the Deluge: California’s Plan for Managing Floods (DVD)

This 30-minute documentary, produced in 2011, explores the past, present and future of flood management in California’s Central Valley. It features stories from residents who have experienced the devastating effects of a California flood firsthand. Interviews with long-time Central Valley water experts from California Department of Water Resources (FloodSAFE), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Central Valley Flood Management Program and environmental groups are featured as they discuss current efforts to improve the state’s 150-year old flood protection system and develop a sustainable, integrated, holistic flood management plan for the Central Valley.

Video

Restoring a River: Voices of the San Joaquin

This 30-minute documentary-style DVD on the history and current state of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program includes an overview of the geography and history of the river, historical and current water delivery and uses, the genesis and timeline of the 1988 lawsuit, how the settlement was reached and what was agreed to.

Video

A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.

Video

Delta Warning

15-minute DVD that graphically portrays the potential disaster should a major earthquake hit the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. “Delta Warning” depicts what would happen in the event of an earthquake registering 6.5 on the Richter scale: 30 levee breaks, 16 flooded islands and a 300 billion gallon intrusion of salt water from the Bay – the “big gulp” – which would shut down the State Water Project and Central Valley Project pumping plants.

Video

Shaping of the West: 100 Years of Reclamation

30-minute DVD that traces the history of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and its role in the development of the West. Includes extensive historic footage of farming and the construction of dams and other water projects, and discusses historic and modern day issues.

Video

Water on the Edge (60-minute DVD)

Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there have been some critical events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.

Maps & Posters

San Joaquin River Restoration Map
Published 2012

This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, features a map of the San Joaquin River. The map text focuses on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, which aims to restore flows and populations of Chinook salmon to the river below Friant Dam to its confluence with the Merced River. The text discusses the history of the program, its goals and ongoing challenges with implementation. 

Maps & Posters

Water Cycle Poster

Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants, rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation. Excellent for elementary school classroom use.

Maps & Posters

Invasive Species Poster Set

One copy of the Space Invaders and one copy of the Unwelcome Visitors poster for a special price.

Maps & Posters

Unwelcome Visitors

This 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, explains how non-native invasive animals can alter the natural ecosystem, leading to the demise of native animals. “Unwelcome Visitors” features photos and information on four such species – including the zerbra mussel – and explains the environmental and economic threats posed by these species.

Maps & Posters

Space Invaders

This 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, explains how non-native invasive plants can alter the natural ecosystem, leading to the demise of native plants and animals. “Space Invaders” features photos and information on six non-native plants that have caused widespread problems in the Bay-Delta Estuary and elsewhere.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project
Updated 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project provides an overview of the California-funded and constructed State Water Project.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Flood Management
Updated 2009

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Flood Management explains the physical flood control system, including levees; discusses previous flood events (including the 1997 flooding); explores issues of floodplain management and development; provides an overview of flood forecasting; and outlines ongoing flood control projects. 

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Updated 2015

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project
Updated 2021

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project explores the history and development of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), California’s largest surface water delivery system. In addition to the project’s history, the guide describes the various CVP facilities, CVP operations, the benefits the CVP brought to the state and the CVP Improvement Act (CVPIA).

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Delta
Updated 2020

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Delta explores the competing uses and demands on California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Included in the guide are sections on the history of the Delta, its role in the state’s water system, and its many complex issues with sections on water quality, levees, salinity and agricultural drainage, fish and wildlife, and water distribution.

Maps & Posters California Water Bundle

California Water Map
Updated December 2016

A new look for our most popular product! And it’s the perfect gift for the water wonk in your life.

Our 24×36 inch California Water Map is widely known for being the definitive poster that shows the integral role water plays in the state. On this updated version, it is easier to see California’s natural waterways and man-made reservoirs and aqueducts – including federally, state and locally funded projects – the wild and scenic rivers system, and natural lakes. The map features beautiful photos of California’s natural environment, rivers, water projects, wildlife, and urban and agricultural uses and the text focuses on key issues: water supply, water use, water projects, the Delta, wild and scenic rivers and the Colorado River.

Photo gallery

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Brannan Island
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San Luis Drain

The San Luis Drain centers on the controversial idea of funneling agriculture drainage water for discharge in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Proposals

There are multiple proposals for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta underway, though a decision on the future of the Delta is still far from a foregone conclusion.

Unlike past planning efforts that focused primarily on water resource issues and the ecosystem, some current efforts to revitalize the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta include:

  • land use planning
  • recreation
  • flood management and energy
  • rail and transportation infrastructure

How— or if—all these competing demands can be accommodated is an open question.

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Litigation

For more than 30 years, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been embroiled in continuing controversy over the struggle to restore the faltering ecosystem while maintaining its role as the hub of the state’s water supply.

Lawsuits and counter lawsuits have been filed, while environmentalists and water users continue to clash over  the amount of water that can be safely exported from the region.

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Levees

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Levees

Roughly 1,115 miles of levees protect farms, cities, schools and people in and around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a crucial conduit for California’s overall water supply. But the Delta’s levees are vulnerable to failure due to floods, earthquakes and rising sea levels brought about by climate change. A widespread failure could imperil the state’s water supply.

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Land Use and Boundaries

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta includes approximately 500,000 acres of waterways, levees and farmed lands extending over portions of six counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano and Yolo.

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Inflow Outflow

The fresh water inflow and outflow of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is critical to its vitality and survival.

Freshwater flows from the Delta meets saltwater from the ocean near Suisun Marsh located to the east of San Francisco Bay. Suisun Marsh and adjoining bays are the brackish transition between fresh and salt water. But the location of that transition is not fixed.

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Cross Channel

The 6,000-foot Delta Cross Channel diverts water from the Sacramento River into a branch of the Mokelumne River, where it follows natural channels for about 50 miles to the Jones Pumping Plant intake channel. Located near the State Water Project’s Harvey O.

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Chronology

Historic sketch of laborers building a levee in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

1772 First recorded sighting of the Bay Delta by Spanish explorers.

1849 Settlers begin farming in the Delta.

1861 Reclamation District Act authorized, allowing drainage of Delta lands and construction of sturdier flood control levees.

1879 The striped bass is brought by rail from the East Coast to the Delta.

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Canal/Tunnel Proposals

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Canal/Tunnel Proposals

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been the hub of California’s water system for more than 50 years and along the way water experts have struggled to balance the many competing demands placed on the estuary—the largest freshwater tidal estuary on the West Coast.

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Salinity

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta always has been at the mercy of river flows and brackish tides.

Before human intervention, salty ocean water from the San Francisco Bay flooded the vast Delta marshes during dry summers when mountain runoff ebbed. Then, during winter, heavy runoff from the mountains repelled sea water intrusion.

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is California’s most crucial water and ecological resource. It is the largest freshwater tidal estuary of its kind on the west coast of the Americas, providing important habitat for birds on the Pacific Flyway and for fish that live in or pass through the Delta. It also the hub of California’s two largest surface water delivery projects, the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project. The Delta provides a portion of the drinking water for 29 million Californians and irrigation water for large portions of the state’s $50 billion agricultural industry.

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Water Distribution

The majority of people, farms and businesses in California depend on water transported through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Fish and Wildlife

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta supports more than 55 fish species and more than 750 plant and wildlife species.

Over times, the home of these species-the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem-has been impacted for many decades by human activities, such as gold mining, flood protection and land reclamation. Along the way, more than 200 exotic species have been intentionally or accidentally introduced.

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Monterey Amendment

The Monterey Amendment, a 1994 pact between Department of Water Resources and State Water Project contractors, helped ease environmental stresses on the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta.

As part of large-scale restructuring of water supply contracts, the Monterey Amendment allowed for storage of excess flows during wet years in groundwater banks and surface storage reservoir. This stored water could then be used later during dry periods or to help the Delta.

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Judge Wanger Rulings

Federal Judge Oliver Wanger overturned a federal scientific study that aimed to protect Delta smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

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Invasive Species

Invasive water hyacinth surrounds docks and boats in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Invasive species, also known as exotics, are plants, animals, insects and aquatic species introduced into non-native habitats.

Often, invasive species travel to non-native areas by ship, either in ballast water released into harbors or attached to the sides of boats. From there, introduced species can then spread and significantly alter ecosystems and the natural food chain as they go. Another example of non-native species introduction is the dumping of aquarium fish into waterways.

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Environmental Issues and Water

Environmental concerns have closely followed California’s development of water resources since its earliest days as a state.

Early miners harnessed water to dislodge gold through hydraulic mining. Debris resulting from these mining practices washed down in rivers and streams, choking them and harming aquatic life and causing flooding.

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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. 

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Delta-Mendota Canal

Delta-Mendota Canal

The117-mile long Delta-Mendota Canal in central California delivers water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the San Joaquin Valley. It is part of the Central Valley Project.

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Delta Risk Management Strategy

Delta Risk Management Strategy

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 Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and assessed major risks from floods, seepage, subsidence and earthquakes, sea level rise and climate change.

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Delta Pumping Plant Fish Protection Agreement

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 Delta.]

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Delta Plan

The Delta Plan is a comprehensive management plan for the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta intended to help the state meet the coequal goals of water reliability and ecosystem restoration.

The Delta Stewardship Council, which oversees the Delta Plan, adopted a final version in May 2013 after three years of study and public meetings. Once completed, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan could be incorporated into the Delta Plan.

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Contra Costa Canal

Construction began in 1937 to build the Contra Costa Canal, the first part of the federal Central Valley Project.  The Contra Costa Canal runs from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where it draws its water near Knightsen, to the eastern and central parts of Contra Costa County. It is about 30 miles from San Francisco.

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California Aqueduct

The California Aqueduct, a critical part of the State Water Project, carries water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Deltato the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

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Agricultural Drainage and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Few regions are as important to California water as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers converge to discharge into San Francisco Bay.

Western Water Magazine

Meeting the Co-equal Goals? The Bay Delta Conservation Plan
May/June 2013

This issue of Western Water looks at the BDCP and the Coalition to Support Delta Projects, issues that are aimed at improving the health and safety of the Delta while solidifying California’s long-term water supply reliability.

Western Water Magazine

How Much Water Does the Delta Need?
July/August 2012

This printed issue of Western Water examines the issues associated with the State Water Board’s proposed revision of the water quality Bay-Delta Plan, most notably the question of whether additional flows are needed for the system, and how they might be provided.

Western Water Magazine

Making the Connection: Sound Science and Good Delta Policy
July/August 2011

This printed issue of Western Water examines science – the answers it can provide to help guide management decisions in the Delta and the inherent uncertainty it holds that can make moving forward such a tenuous task.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Delta Conveyance: The Debate Continues
March/April 2009

The critical condition of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has prompted the question of how it can continue to serve as a source of water for 25 million people while remaining a viable ecosystem, agricultural community and growing residential center. Developing a “dual conveyance” system of continuing to use Delta waterways to convey water to the export pumps but also building a new pipeline or canal to move some water supplies around the Delta is an issue of great scrutiny.

Western Water Magazine

Delta Conveyance: The Debate Continues
March/April 2009

This printed issue of Western Water provides an overview of the idea of a dual conveyance facility, including questions surrounding its cost, operation and governance

Western Water Magazine

Finding a Vision for the Delta
March/April 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines the Delta through the many ongoing activities focusing on it, most notably the Delta Vision process. Many hours of testimony, research, legal proceedings, public hearings and discussion have occurred and will continue as the state seeks the ultimate solution to the problems tied to the Delta.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Finding a Vision for the Delta
March/April 2008

Consider the array of problems facing the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta for too long and the effect can be nearly overwhelming. Permanently altered more than a century ago, the estuary - arguably the only one of its kind – is an enigma to those outside its realm, a region embroiled in difficulties that resist simple, ready-made solutions.

Western Water Magazine

Building a Delta Vision: A Roundtable Discussion
January/February 2007

There are multiple Delta Vision processes underway and a decision on the future of the Delta will be made in the next two years. Unlike past planning efforts that focused primarily on water resource issues and the ecosystem, these current efforts are expanding to include land use planning, recreation, flood management, and energy, rail and transportation infrastructure. How – or if – all these competing demands can be accommodated is the question being considered.

Western Water Magazine

Developing a Delta Vision
May/June 2006

This issue of Western Water examines the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as it stands today and the efforts by government agencies, policy experts, elected officials and the public at large to craft a vision for a sustainable future.

Western Water Magazine

CALFED at a Crossroads: A Decade of the Bay-Delta Program
March/April 2005

This issue of Western Water discusses the CALFED Bay-Delta Program and what the future holds as it enters a crucial period. From its continued political viability to the advancement of best available science and the challenges of fulfilling the ROD, the near future will feature a lively discussion that will play a significant role in the program’s future.

Western Water Excerpt

The CALFED Plan: Making it Happen
Jan/Feb 2004

The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta has been described as the “switching yard” of California ’s water delivery system, moving billions of gallons that supply the drinking water and irrigation for millions of people. When stakeholders signed the 1994 Bay-Delta Accord, it was a dual-purpose deal designed to preserve, protect and restore the ecosystem and increase water supply reliability.

Western Water Magazine

CALFED Plan: Making it Happen
January/February 2004

This issue of Western Water examines the extensive activity associated with the projects and issues related to the Napa proposal – from increasing the state’s pumping capacity to improvements in the south Delta to the creation of a lasting Environmental Water Account to addressing water quality concerns. As of press time, the proposal was far from finalized, undergoing review and possible revision by government agencies and stakeholders.

Western Water Magazine

CALFED Today: A Roundtable Discussion
September/October 2002

The release of the CALFED Record of Decision in 2000 marked a turning point in the multi-year effort to craft a Delta “fix” that addressed both environmental problems and water supply reliability. How to finance the many components within the plan and ensure the plan is implemented over the next 30 years is a major issue.