California’s Delta is the largest estuary on the West Coast and is the hub of the state’s major water supply systems. It is inextricably linked to statewide issues that affect its ability to function in a healthy, sustainable way.
In November 2009, the California Legislature enacted SBX7 1 (Delta Reform Act), one of several bills passed at this time related to water supply reliability, ecosystem health, and the Delta. The Act, effective on Feb. 3, 2010, created the Delta Stewardship Council.
The mission of the Delta Stewardship Council is to achieve the coequal goals. As stated in the CA Water code, “‘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 SS 85054)
The Council is made up of seven members who provide a broad, statewide perspective and diverse expertise. In addition, they are advised by a 10-member board of nationally and internationally renowned scientists.
Because California’s Delta is linked to so many statewide issues, the Plan’s scope and purview will encompass decisions pertaining to statewide water use, flood management and the Delta watershed.