State's Comprehensive Plan to Improve Flows for Fisheries


Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) oversees water rights and water quality in California. The Board is in the process of updating its Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan, which identifies beneficial uses of the Bay-Delta, water quality objectives for the reasonable protection of those beneficial uses, and a program of implementation for achieving the objectives. More information about the Water Board’s effort is available here.

The Natural Resources Agency, California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are working on a separate but related effort to forge voluntary, stakeholder-based outcomes in the watersheds of the Sacramento River and major San Joaquin River tributaries.

The goal of this effort is described in Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s five-year Water Action Plan, which was released in January 2014 and updated in January 2016. More information about the voluntary agreements can be found here.

On December 12, 2018, DWR and CDFW Directors Nemeth and Bonham respectively, presented progress on the voluntary agreements to the SWRCB as an alternative to the Board’s staff proposal requiring unimpaired river flows under the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan.

The state’s restoration strategy advances Governor Brown’s goal to reach voluntary agreements with water users to improve river flows, restore habitat and help native fish populations. It is a holistic approach that allows for action to be taken immediately.

The DWR and CDFW PowerPoint presentation to the SWRCB and associated Agreement Framework documents are available online here.