The Delta Plan
While there are many agencies involved in both the near and long-term management of the Delta, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act of 2009 (Delta Reform Act) established the Delta Stewardship Council (Council) to create a comprehensive, long-term, legally enforceable plan to guide how multiple federal, state, and local agencies manage the Delta’s water and environmental resources. The 2009 legislation directed the Council to oversee implementation of this plan through coordination and oversight of state and local agencies proposing to fund, carry out, and approve Delta-related activities. It also granted the Council regulatory and appellate authority over certain actions that take place in whole or in part in the Delta and Suisun Marsh, referred to as covered actions.
Since 2010, the Council has developed, amended, and begun implementing the Delta Plan, addressing multiple complex challenges in the process. Much progress has been made, but much remains to be done. Developed to achieve the state’s coequal goals of a reliable statewide water supply and a protected, restored Delta ecosystem in a manner that preserves the values of the Delta as a place, the Delta Plan includes 14 regulatory policies and 95 recommendations. Collectively, these policies and recommendations address current and predicted challenges related to the Delta’s ecology, flood management, land use, water quality, and water supply reliability. The Delta Plan’s policies and recommendations are based on best available science and depend on cooperation and coordination among federal, state, and local agencies.
View the Delta Plan by individual chapters and appendices:
- Delta Plan Cover Letter (398 KB)
- Table of Contents (2.15 MB)
- Executive Summary (1.85 MB) (Amended, April 2018 and 23 CCR § 5002(b)(2) amended July, 2019)
- Chapter 1 - Introduction (7 MB)
- Chapter 2 - The Delta Plan (2.65 MB) (Amended, April 2018 and 23 CCR § 5002(b)(2) amended July, 2019)
- Chapter 3 - A More Reliable Water Supply for California (2.52 MB) (Amended, April 2018)
- Chapter 4 - Protect, Restore, and Enhance the Delta Ecosystem (4.8 MB)
- Chapter 5 - Protect and Enhance the Unique Cultural, Recreational, Natural Resource, and Agricultural Values of the California Delta as an Evolving Place (6 MB)
- Chapter 6 - Improve Water Quality to Protect Human Health and the Environment (2.5 MB)
- Chapter 7 - Reduce Risk to People, Property, and State Interests in the Delta (5 MB) (Amended, March 2020)
- Chapter 8 - Funding Principles to Support the Coequal Goals (1.4 MB)
- Appendix 1A - Best Available Science
- Appendix 1B - Adaptive Management
- Appendix A - The Delta Stewardship Council's Role Regarding Conveyance (159 KB)
- Appendix B - Regulatory Language and Appendices Submitted to Office of Administrative Law, August 2013 (18.2 MB)
- Appendix C - Adaptive Management and the Delta Plan (1.16 MB)
- Appendix D - Administrative Procedures Governing Appeals, Statutory Provisions Requiring Other Consistency Reviews, and Other Forms of Review or Evaluation by the Council (84.2 KB)
- Appendix E - Performance Measures for the Delta Plan (740 KB) (Amended, April 2018)
- Appendix F - Statutory Exemptions from Covered Actions (117 KB)
- Appendix G - Achieving Reduced Reliance on the Delta and Improved Regional Self-Reliance (263 KB)
- Appendix H - Key California Water Conservation and Management Laws (169 KB)
- Appendix I - Addressing Multiple Stressors and Multiple Goals in the Delta Plan (memorandum) (406 KB)
- Appendix J - Excerpt from Draft Ecosystem Restoration Program's Conservation Strategy for Stage 2 Implementation for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Ecological Management Zone (DFG 2011): "Section III. Stressors; Non-native Invasive Species" (300 KB)
- Appendix K - Delta Dredged Sediment Long-Term Management Strategy (1.53 MB)
- Appendix L - State Flood Control Facilities within the Legal Boundary of the Delta (Map showing Central Valley Flood Protection Board Jurisdictions) (1.27 MB)
- Appendix M - Projected 5-year Budgets (Fiscal Years 2012-2017) for Delta Stewardship Council, Delta Protection Commission, and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy (214 KB)
- Appendix N - Funding and Financing Options (222 KB)
- Appendix O - Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program (574 kb) (23 CCR § 5002(b)(2) amended July, 2019)
- Glossary (1.2 MB) (Amended, April 2018)
Original Delta Plan (Adopted May 16, 2013)
- Delta Plan Cover Letter (398 KB)
- Combined Chapters (40 MB)
- Combined Appendices (23.3 MB)
- Glossary (945 KB)
High Resolution Maps from the Delta Plan
The following thirteen maps are listed in the Delta Plan document using a standard print resolution. These high resolution versions are being made available so that the detailed information on the maps is more easily readable.
- Figure 1-1 Delta Boundaries (3.16 MB)
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh are referred to throughout the Plan collectively as “the Delta,” unless otherwise specified. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is defined in Water Code section 12220, and Suisun Marsh means the area defined in Public Resources Code section 29101 and protected by Division 19 (commencing with section 29000).
- Figure 1-2 Delta Plan Study Area - Revised (863 KB)
The Delta Watershed and Areas Receiving Delta Water - Water from the vast Delta watershed, spanning over 45,000 square miles (30 million acres), fuels both local economies and those in export areas hundreds of miles away.
- Figure 1-4 The Delta Plan (2.82 MB)
The map shows the primary area covered by the Delta Plan, including features and uses referred to in the Plan's 14 policies and 73 recommendations.
- Figure 3-2 Moving and Storing California’s Water (4.97 MB)
To provide more reliable water supplies despite the state’s hydrologic variability and diverse geography, and also to manage floods during wet years, State, federal, and local agencies have built a vast, interconnected infrastructure system throughout California.
- Figure 4-6 Habitat Types Based on Elevation, Shown with Developed Areas in the Delta and Suisun Marsh (3.60 MB)
Opportunities for habitat restoration in the Delta are constrained first and foremost by the elevation of land, which determines the potential of an area to be restored. Much of the Delta has subsided too deeply to restore its original ecological functions.
- Figure 4-8 Recommended Areas for Prioritization and Implementation of Habitat Restoration Projects (2.82 MB)
Priority habitat restoration areas are large areas within which specific sites may be identified for habitat restoration based on assessments of land use and other issues addressed through further feasibility analysis.
- Figure 5-1 Delta Primary & Secondary Zones & Suisun Marsh (2.50 MB)
The Delta is composed of three areas recognized in California law. The Primary Zone is the largest and includes 490,050 acres at the heart of the Delta (Public Resources Code section 29728). The Secondary Zone includes 247,320 acres surrounding the Primary Zone (Public Resources Code section 29731). Suisun Marsh lies northwest of the Primary Zone, encompassing 106,570 acres (Public Resources Code section 29101) primarily of managed wetland. The Suisun Marsh overlaps the boundary of the Delta by about 4,300 acres.
- Figure 5-2 Delta Communities (2.63 MB)
The map shows land uses designated by city and county general plans. Within cities' spheres of influences (SOIs), the map shows land use designations proposed in city general plans, where available. In cases where cities have not proposed land uses within their SOIs, the map shows land uses designated by county general plans.
- Figure 5-3 Agricultural Land Use in the Delta (4.81 MB)
Agriculture is among the qualities that define the Delta as a place. The Delta’s initial reclamation created farmland, and ongoing maintenance of its levees and water controls allows for continued farming in the region. Agriculture dominates the Delta landscape and provides the setting for Delta residents’ communities, homes, and job sites.
- Figure 5-5 State Parks and Other Protected Lands (2.87 MB)
The map shows the locations of State parks and other protected lands in the Delta. The Delta Protection Commission estimates that about 12 million activity days of recreation occur in the Delta annually (DPC 2012b). Visitors value the wide expanses of open land, interlaced waterways, historic towns, and the lifestyle offered by the Delta.
- Figure 5-6 Major Delta Resources and Recreation (3.91 MB)
This map shows the variety and distribution of some of the recreational opportunities in the Delta. The region’s mix of land and water offers di-verse recreation experiences and facilities, including fishing, boating, bird watching, other nature activities, hunting, enjoying restaurants, campgrounds, picnic areas, and historic towns and buildings.
- Figure 7-3 Levees in the Delta (2.90 MB)
This map shows the locations of project and non-project levees in the Delta. The project levees begin on the left bank of the Sacramento River at Sherman Island and line most of the riverbanks, as well as the Sacramento River Deep Water Ship Channel and some connecting waterways north to Sacramento and beyond. On the San Joaquin River they line the riverbanks from Old River to Stockton.
- Figure 7-6 Delta Flood Management Facilities (2.17 MB)
The map shows flood management resources including flood control bypasses and floodways, along with other floodplains to be protected. It also shows water supply reliability levee projects, flood control project levees and urban non-project levees.
Delta Plan Five-Year Review
To ensure that the Delta Plan evolves appropriately with time, the Delta Reform Act requires that the Council review the comprehensive management plan at least once every five years, and revise it as the Council deems appropriate.
In 2018, the Council began its initial review of the Delta Plan with three objectives in mind: (1) to reflect on the successes and challenges of implementation efforts across agencies; (2) to focus and prioritize the Council’s near-term implementation efforts; and (3) to identify planning topics and emerging issues that may inform future updates.
To summarize its findings, the Council recently published a detailed report summarizing these objectives alongside a highlights companion piece. By considering the Delta Plan and implementation progress to date, the Council will be better positioned to develop a roadmap for potential future changes and improvements to Delta Plan content and implementation strategies.
For more information regarding amendments made to the Delta Plan, please contact email@example.com.