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Delta Plan Litigation


05/16-17/2013 - Delta Plan and Implementing Regulations Adopted
06/2013 to 09/2013 - Seven Lawsuits Filed
10/01/2013 - Coordination Petition Approved
07/18/2014 - Case Management Order Issued
10/15/2014 - Opening Briefs Submitted
04/06/2015 - Opposition Brief Submitted
05/21/2015- Reply Briefs Due


On May 16, 2013 the Delta Stewardship Council unanimously adopted the Delta Plan (after certifying the Delta Plan EIR). On May 17, 2013, the Council unanimously adopted the Delta Plan implementing regulations, which are based on the fourteen “policies” contained in the Delta Plan. The regulations were approved by the Office of Administrative Law on August 12, 2013 and became effective on September 1, 2013.


Following the adoption of the Plan and the implementing regulations, and within the 30-day statute of limitations provided by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), twenty-six petitioners, consisting of agencies, organizations, and individuals, filed seven lawsuits against the Council challenging the Plan, the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and the regulations.

Below, in bold, are the names of the lead petitioners in each of the seven lawsuits, followed by a list of other petitioners that joined in the particular lawsuit, and the venue in which the action was filed:

  • California Water Impact Network, et al. (Superior Court of San Francisco)
  1. Friends of the River
  2. California Water Impact Network
  3. California Sportsfishing Protection Alliance
  4. AquAlliance v. Restore the Delta vi. Center for Biological Diversity
  • Central Delta Water Agency, et al. (Superior Court of San Francisco)
  1. Central Delta Water Agency
  2. South Delta Water Agency
  3. Lafayette Ranch, Inc.
  4. Cindy Charles
  5. Local Agencies of the North Delta
  • North Coast Rivers Alliance, et al. (Sacramento County Superior Court)
  1. North Coast Rivers Alliance
  2. Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
  3. San Francisco Crab Boat Owners association
  4. Winnemem Wintu Tribe
  • San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District (Sacramento County Superior Court)
  1. Westlands water district
  2. San Luis and Delta Mendota Water Authority
  • Save the California Delta Alliance (Superior Court of San Francisco)
  • City of Stockton (San Joaquin County Superior Court)
  • State Water Contractors, et al. (Sacramento County Superior Court)
  1. State Water Contractors
  2. Antelope Valley-E Kern Water Agency
  3. Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District
  4. San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District
  5. Santa Clara Valley Water District
  6. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  7. Mojave Water Agency


Following the filing of the lawsuits by the above parties, the Delta Stewardship Council petitioned the Judicial Council of California for an order coordinating the seven lawsuits in the same court in Sacramento County. The order was granted on October 1, 2013 and the cases – captioned as “the Delta Plan cases”- were all brought to the Superior Court of Sacramento. A copy of that order is listed below:


A case management order was issued by Judge Michael P. Kenny on July 18, 2014. A copy of that order is listed below:


Opening briefs were filed by petitioners in the Delta Plan cases. Copies are linked below:

  1. C-WIN and San Luis & Delta Mendota, et al. and State Water Contractors, et al. Opening Brief
  2. North Coast Rivers Alliance Opening Brief
  3. Central Delta Water Agency, et al. and California Water Impact Network, et al. Opening Brief
  4. Save the California Delta Alliance, et al. Opening Brief
  5. City of Stockton Opening Brief


The Council's opposition brief was due on April 6, 2015 and was filed on that date. A copy of the brief is listed below:



  • Petitioners’ reply/response briefs are due May 21, 2015

Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)