Delta Plan Amendments

Adopted by the Delta Stewardship Council in May 2013, the Delta Plan anticipated the need for periodic reviews and updates in response to changing circumstances and conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh. Five amendments have been made to the Delta Plan to date. Rulemaking for new and revised policies and mitigation measures included in the amended Delta Plan Chapter 4 (Protect, Restore, and Enhance the Delta Ecosystem) is currently in progress.

Recently Completed

Delta Levees Investment Strategy (DLIS):

The DLIS amendment was a multiyear effort to update the Delta Plan’s 2013 interim priorities, as requested by California’s Legislature, for reducing flood risk, guiding the prioritization of state investments in the Delta (more than $700 million since the 1970s), and better integrating Delta levees with other Delta actions and statewide flood control. The DLIS prioritization was developed with substantial input from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, and local and regional Delta stakeholders. The regulation requires DWR to report annually on funding decisions and levee investments. The required annual report from DWR will help track levee investments, and create transparency for DWR’s levee spending in the Delta. The rulemaking process for the adopted regulation (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 23, § 5012) was completed with Office of Administrative Law in September 2023 and published in January 2024. For more information visit our DLIS web page.

Chapter 4

The revised Chapter 4 of the Delta Plan (Ecosystem Amendment) is a new approach that aims to achieve a dynamic and resilient restored landscape envisioned in the Delta Reform Act of 2009. The Ecosystem Amendment portfolio includes protecting existing ecosystems, restoring ecosystems, and enhancing working or urban landscapes that provide habitat resources to species. These approaches can reestablish ecological processes and functions to be more resilient to land conversion and climate change. The Ecosystem Amendment leverages decades of research and recovery planning to identify a path forward, increase coordination, and work towards a common vision for a restored Delta ecosystem.

The Ecosystem Amendment is the product of iterative public and agency comments and coordination. In preparation for a Preliminary Draft, the Council began outreach efforts in 2015. The November 2019 Preliminary Draft underwent thorough public, agency, and Delta Independent Science Board review and resulted in the May 2020 Draft. At the May 2020 Council meeting, the Council authorized the Proposed Ecosystem Amendment for environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Consistent with CEQA Guidelines, the Ecosystem Amendment is considered a project of statewide, regional, or area-wide significance. The Council, as the lead agency, determined that the Ecosystem Amendment may result in potentially significant environmental impacts, and that a Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) is required. A September 2021 Draft PEIR was made available for public comment.

A June 2022 Final PEIR was prepared to respond to comments on the Draft PEIR and to describe revisions made to the Draft PEIR and Proposed Ecosystem Amendment. At the June 2022, Council meeting, the Council certified the Final PEIR and adopted the Ecosystem Amendment. The Council also authorized staff to initiate rulemaking for new and revised Delta Plan policies and mitigation measures included in the Ecosystem Amendment and PEIR.

A digital overview of the need for and approach to strengthening Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem restoration is available online. It summarizes the Ecosystem Amendment’s strategies, policies, recommendations, and performance measures. The Ecosystem Amendment and its supporting appendices (linked below) provide more detail regarding the amended policies and recommendations.

  • Appendix Q1. Methods Used to Update Ecosystem Restoration Maps Using New Digital Elevation Model and Tidal Data
  • Appendix Q2. Key Considerations and Best Available Science for Protecting, Restoring, and Enhancing the Delta Ecosystem
    • The Good Neighbor Checklist (included in Appendix Q2) recommends best practices for habitat restoration projects.
  • Appendix Q3. Identifying, Mapping, and Quantifying Opportunities for Landscape-Scale Restoration in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
  • Appendix Q4. Conservation and Recovery Plan Target Species


We encourage you to review the frequently asked questions. Please direct all other questions to:

Other Amendments

Performance Measures: When first adopted, the Delta Plan contained preliminary performance measures developed to monitor implementation of its policies and recommendations. The Delta Plan identified the need for the Council to continue to work with scientific, agency, and stakeholder experts to further refine its performance measures. The Council subsequently conducted a rigorous public process and adopted new and refined performance measures in February 2016. Based on recommendations from the Delta Independent Science Board, in 2018, the Council adopted a further refined set of performance measures to better track Delta Plan outputs and outcomes. The Ecosystem Amendment, adopted in June 2022, added new and revised performance measures for tracking the health of the Delta Ecosystem. The current Delta Plan performance measures are in Appendix E of the Delta Plan. The Performance Measures Guidebook provides an overview of the performance measures adopted by the Council and aims to contribute to a better understanding of the performance metrics and expectations. The Performance Measures dashboard provides a view of the current status of the performance measures, schedule of updates, key findings and other relevant information.

Single-Year Water Transfers: Water transfers across the Delta can be an important tool for improving water supply reliability, especially in drought years when some water rights holders may choose to sell a portion of their water supply to areas of the state that are harder hit or are willing to place a greater value on that water. The Council conducted an environmental review and adopted a regulatory amendment in September 2016 that exempts single-year water transfers from regulation under the Delta Plan and simplifies the implementation of these short-term transfers.

Conveyance, Storage, and Operations: This amendment includes a series of recommendations that fulfill the Council’s statutory requirement to promote options for water conveyance, storage, and operations of both. Adopted in April 2018, this amendment includes recommendations that the design and implementation of new or improved conveyance infrastructure in the Delta minimize disruptions to transportation and business activities in the Delta, complement the Delta landscape, and are implemented in cooperation with affected communities, local governments, the Delta Protection Commission, and Delta stakeholders.