Delta Levees Investment Strategy

The Delta Reform Act of 2009 called on the Delta Stewardship Council to lead a multi-agency effort to update priorities for state investments in the Delta levee system to reduce the likelihood and consequences of levee failures, to protect people, property, and state interests, while advancing the coequal goals of improving water supply reliability, restoring the Delta ecosystem, and protecting and enhancing the values of the Delta as an evolving place.

In response, in the spring of 2014, the Council launched the Delta Levees Investment Strategy (DLIS) that combined risk analysis, economics, engineering, and decision-making techniques to identify funding priorities and assembled a comprehensive investment strategy for the Delta levees.

The DLIS was developed in collaboration with state agencies, local reclamation districts, Delta landowners and businesses, and other stakeholders. It is based on the best available data, and lessons learned from other state and local programs and planning efforts.

Between 2014 and 2018, the DLIS was discussed at 40 meetings with technical experts, 27 Council meetings, and four public workshops. Many presentations were made before the Council regarding the DLIS and an associated Delta Plan amendment and the public stakeholder input that was received before the proposed amendment was ultimately adopted by the Council as part of the Delta Plan Amendments in April 2018.

The rulemaking process to adopt regulations implementing the DLIS is ongoing. The proposed amendment identifies state interests in the Delta that are vulnerable to flooding; defines principles to guide the development and refinement of potential Delta Plan policies and recommendations; and evaluates risks to state interests due to potential levee failure, all for the purposes of attempting to reduce risks to people, property, and state interests in the Delta (Wat. Code section 85305); and to recommend priorities for state investment in levee operation, maintenance, and improvements in the Delta (Wat. Code section 85306).

Project documents and public comments regarding the DLIS are available upon request via archives@deltacouncil.ca.gov.