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. An amendment to Chapter 4 (Protect, Restore, and Enhance the Delta Ecosystem) of the Delta Plan (Ecosystem Amendment) is currently under consideration.
Chapter 4 of the Delta Plan – Protect, Restore, and Enhance the Delta Ecosystem – was originally developed based on the expectation that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) would be incorporated into the Delta Plan. In May 2015, state and federal agencies shifted their approach from the BDCP to a more focused set of mitigation projects. To address this fundamental shift in the planning and implementation of conservation in the Delta, the Council in 2016 began developing an approach to update Chapter 4 (Ecosystem Amendment).
The Council released a Preliminary Draft of the Ecosystem Amendment for public review and comment in November 2019. Based on public comments received, Council staff further revised the November 2019 Preliminary Draft, resulting in the May 2020 Draft. The May 2020 Draft incorporates extensive feedback from the Council, Delta stakeholders, the Delta Independent Science Board, independent scientific peer reviewers, and the public.
May 2020 Draft Ecosystem Amendment CEQA Documents
- Notice of Preparation Draft Program Environmental Impact Report for Proposed Ecosystem Amendment
- Program Environmental Impact Report Scoping Meeting Materials:
May 2020 Draft Ecosystem Amendment
- 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
- 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
May 2020 Draft Ecosystem Amendment Supporting Documents
- PM 4.6 Doubling Goal for Central Valley Chinook Salmon Natural Production
- PM 4.12 Subsidence Reversal for Tidal Reconnection
- PM 4.13 Barriers to Migratory Fish Passage
- PM 4.14 Increased Funding for Restoring Ecosystem Function
- PM 4.15 Seasonal Inundation
- PM 4.16 Acres of Natural Communities Restored
The Delta Levees Investment Strategy (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 priorities were developed with substantial input from the California Department of Water Resources, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, and local and regional Delta stakeholders. In 2018, the Council approved the DLIS priorities as part of a Delta Plan amendment; however, the amendment was rescinded so the Council can evaluate new levee data. Council staff is currently analyzing this new data and will present it to the Council for review and deliberation. For more information see https://www.deltacouncil.ca.gov/dlis/.
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. The Performance Measures Guidebook provides a user-friendly overview of the refined set of performance measures adopted in 2018.
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.