Delta Plan Amendments
Adopted by Delta Stewardship Council (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 (Delta). Five amendments have been made to the comprehensive management plan to date, with one currently under consideration.
An amendment to Chapter 4 of the Delta Plan (Protect, Restore, and Enhance the Delta Ecosystem) is currently under consideration by the Council, to address a fundamental shift in how conservation is being planned and implemented in the Delta. The Council has been working to develop an approach to amend Chapter 4 of the Delta Plan since 2016, following the move away from the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.
A preliminary public review draft of Chapter 4 was developed based on robust stakeholder engagement and scientific synthesis. It provides a brief history of the Delta ecosystem, describes current conditions in the estuary, and presents five core strategies that form the basis for the policies and recommendations pertinent to the coequal goal of protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem.
Chapter 4 documents also include multiple appendices and attachments.
- Four technical appendices (Appendix Q1, Appendix Q2, Appendix Q3, and Appendix Q4) provide context and best available science for the amendment.
- Three regulatory appendices (Appendix 3A, Appendix 4A, and Appendix 8A) provide documentation in demonstrating consistency with the Delta Plan.
- Appendix E contains proposed modifications and additions to Chapter 4 performance measures.
- Six performance measure data sheets (4.6, 4.12, 4.13, 4.14, 4.15, and 4.16) that provide detailed methods, metrics, and targets for the proposed output/outcome performance measures.
Appendix Q1, Appendix Q3, and Appendix Q4 are currently undergoing remediation for digital accessibility as required by Government Code section 11546.7. These technical appendices are currently available upon request via email@example.com. They also will be available on the Council’s Delta Plan Amendments web page no later than the commencement of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process.
The 60-day public comment period on draft Chapter 4 closed on January 21, 2020.
- 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 current Delta Plan performance measures are in Appendix E of the Delta Plan.
- 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.
- Delta Levees Investment Strategy (DLIS): The DLIS is a multiyear project to update the Delta Plan’s 2013 interim priorities, as requested by the legislature, for flood risk reduction and guide the prioritization of state investments in the Delta (more than $700 million since the 1970s) that reduce flood risk and better integrate Delta levees with other Delta actions and statewide flood control. The DLIS was developed with substantial input from the California Department of Water Resources, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, and local and regional Delta stakeholders. This amendment was adopted in April 2018. The rulemaking process for regulatory components of this amendment is ongoing.