Scientific Peer Review

The Delta Science Program is a leading coordinator of independent scientific peer review in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The peer review process uses independent scientific experts and established guidelines to ensure credible and legitimate science can be used by water and environmental decision-makers. The Delta Independent Science Board also conducts science reviews that span the natural, physical, and social sciences.

In the decade since 2010, the Delta Science Program has coordinated over 28 independent science reviews and science advisors (see table below). Reviews employ independent experts to evaluate completed processes, programs, plans, and products. Advisors typically give input on the development of processes, programs, plans, or products. Both reviews and advisors respond to a set of questions (a “Charge”) and write a report. The Delta Science Plan outlines the policies and procedures for both Independent Scientific Reviews (Appendix H) and Independent Science Advisors (Appendix I). Serial review types are linked, multi-step and/or multi-year reviews, for example Long-term Operations of the Biological Opinions (LOBO), Delta Regional Monitoring Program (Delta RMP), and WaterFix Aquatic Science.

We encourage you to review frequently asked questions. Please contact reviewandadvice@deltacouncil.ca.gov for additional information or to request a review or advice.

Reviews Table

Review Topics Event Date Report Report Date
Independent Scientific Peer Review of Performance Measures for Delta Plan Ecosystem Amendment Climate Change, Fish, Habitat, Hydrology, Invasive Species, Levees, Modeling, Water Operations, Water Quality 2020-Jan-07 Independent Scientific Peer Review of Performance Measures for Delta Plan Ecosystem Amendment 2020-Jan-07
Independent Science Review and Advice of the Delta Mercury Control Program Water Quality 2019-Aug-23 Delta Mercury Control Program Phase 1 Methylmercury Control Studies Independent Scientific Review
Bay-Delta Plan Biological Goals Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting Fish, Habitat, Hydrology, Water Operations, Water Quality 2019-Mar-04 Bay-Delta Plan Biological Goals Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting Report 2019-Mar-04
2017 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions (LOBO) Biennial Science Review Climate Change, Fish, Habitat, Hydrology, Water Operations, Water Quality 2017-Dec-04 2017 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions (LOBO) Biennial Science Review Report 2018-Jan-24
Shore Based Ballast Water Treatment in California Invasive Species, Water Quality 2017-Oct-20 Feasibility Study of Shore-Based Ballast Water Reception and Treatment Facilities in California Report 2018-Apr-23
Yolo Bypass Salmon Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Analytical Tool Review Fish, Habitat, Hydrology, Modeling 2017-Sep-07 Yolo Bypass Salmon Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Analytical Tool Independent Scientific Review Report 2017-Oct-20
Independent Science Review of the Delta Regional Monitoring Program (Delta RMP) Monitoring Design: Final Phase Water Quality 2017-Jun-27 Independent Science Review of the Delta Regional Monitoring Program Monitoring Design: Final Phase Report 2017-Jul-31
2016 California WaterFix Aquatic Science Peer Review Phase 2B Fish, Habitat, Modeling, Water Operations 2017-Jan-23 2016 California WaterFix Aquatic Science Peer Review Phase 2B Report 2017-Mar-10
2016 California WaterFix Aquatic Science Peer Review Phase 2A Fish, Habitat, Modeling, Water Operations 2016-Dec-08 2016 California WaterFix Aquatic Science Peer Review Phase 2A Report 2017-Mar-10
Sacramento Water Allocation Model (SacWAM) Independent Peer Review Hydrology, Modeling 2016-Oct-19 Sacramento Water Allocation Model (SacWAM) Independent Peer Review Workshop Report 2016-Dec-19
An Independent Peer Review on the DWR report, "On Estimating Net Delta Outflow (NDO): Approaches to Estimating NDO in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta" Hydrology, Water Operations 2016-Sep-30 Science Review of Report “On Estimating Net Delta Outflow (NDO): Approaches to Estimating NDO in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta” Report 2016-Sep-30
Independent Panel Review of the Delta Regional Monitoring Program (Delta RMP) Monitoring Design Phase I: Initial Review Water Quality 2016-Aug-23 Independent Science Review of the Delta Regional Monitoring Program Monitoring Design: Initial Phase Report 2016-Sep-23
2016 California WaterFix Aquatic Science Peer Review Phase 1 Fish, Habitat, Modeling, Water Operations 2016-Apr-05 2016 California WaterFix Aquatic Science Peer Review Phase 1 Report 2016-May-12
2015 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions (LOBO) Annual Review Fish, Habitat, Hydrology, Water Operations, Water Quality 2015-Nov-05 2015 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions Annual Science Review Report 2015-Dec-16
Methodology and Scientific Basis to Support the Delta Levee Investment Strategy Levees 2015-May-19 Delta Levees Prioritization Methodology Peer Review Report 2015-Jul-02
Science Review of Collaborative Adaptive Management Team (CAMT) Directed Research Proposal 'Evaluations of Key Assumptions Underlying Analyses of Delta Smelt Survey Data Fish 2015-May-15 Science Review of Collaborative Adaptive Management Team (CAMT) Directed Research Proposal 'Evaluations of Key Assumptions Underlying Analyses of Delta Smelt Survey Data' Report 2015-May-15
Independent Review of the Collaborative Adaptive Management Team (CAMT) Proposed Investigations on Understanding Population Effects and Factors that Affect Entrainment of Delta Smelt at State Water Project and Central Valley Project Fish, Water Operations 2014-Nov-14 Independent Review Panel (IRP) Report of the Collaborative Adaptive Management Team (CAMT) Proposed Investigations on Understanding Population Effects and Factors that Affect Entrainment of Delta Smelt at State Water Project and Central Valley Project Report 2014-Dec-19
2014 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions (LOBO) Annual Science Review Fish, Habitat, Hydrology, Water Operations, Water Quality 2014-Nov-06 2014 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions Annual Science Review Report 2014-Dec-12
Science Review of Collaborative Adaptive Management Team (CAMT) Proposed Investigations on Characterization of Relations between Autumn Outflow and Survival, Recruitment, and Habitat Quality for Delta smelt Fish, Hydrology, Water Operations 2014-Sep-08 Science Review of Collaborative Adaptive Management Team (CAMT) Proposed Investigations on Characterization of Relations between Autumn Outflow and Survival, Recruitment, and Habitat Quality for Delta smelt Report 2015-Oct-01
Independent Review of the Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan Effects Analysis, Phase 3 - Chapter 5: Effects Analysis and Associated Technical Appendices Habitat, Hydrology, Modeling, Water Operations 2014-Jan-28 Independent Review of the Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan Effects Analysis, Phase 3 - Chapter 5: Effects Analysis and Associated Technical Appendices Report 2014-Mar-17
2013 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions (LOBO) Annual Review Fish, Habitat, Hydrology, Water Operations, Water Quality 2013-Nov-06 2013 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions Annual Science Review Report 2013-Dec-07
2012 Long-term Operations Opinions (LOO) Annual Review Fish, Habitat, Hydrology, Water Operations, Water Quality 2012-Oct-31 2012 Long-term Operations Opinions Annual Review Report 2012-Dec-01
Fall Low Salinity Habitat (FLaSH) Studies and Adaptive Management Plan Review Fish, Hydrology, Water Operations, Water Quality 2012-Jul-31 Fall Low Salinity Habitat (FLaSH) Studies and Adaptive Management Plan Review Report 2012-Sep-04
2011 Independent Review on the Implementation of Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) Actions Affecting the Operations Criteria And Plan (OCAP) for State/Federal Water Operations Fish, Habitat, Hydrology, Water Operations, Water Quality 2011-Nov-08 2011 Operations Criteria and Plan (OCAP) Annual Review Report 2011-Dec-09
Independent Panel Review of the Economic Sustainability Plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Human Dimension, Levees 2011-Nov-01 Independent Review of the Delta Protection Commission Economic Sustainability Plan Report 2011-Dec-02
Adaptive Management of Fall Outflow for Delta Smelt Protection and Water Supply Reliability Fish, Hydrology, Water Operations, Water Quality 2011-Jun-13 Review of Draft Plan for Adaptive Management of Fall Outflow for Delta Smelt Protection and Water Supply Reliability Report 2011-Jul-01
2010 Independent Review on the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) Actions Affecting the Operations Criteria And Plan (OCAP) for State/Federal Water Operations Fish, Habitat, Hydrology, Water Operations, Water Quality 2010-Nov-08 Workshop - OCAP Integrated Annual Review Report 2010-Dec-09
The Vernalis Adaptive Management Program (VAMP) Fish, Hydrology, Water Operations 2010-Mar-02 Review of the Vernalis Adaptive Management Program (VAMP) Report 2010-May-13