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Bay-Delta Watershed

Protecting the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Bay-Delta) watershed and its many beneficial uses is one of the State Water Board’s primary responsibilities and top priorities. The State Water Board is responsible for adopting and updating the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan (Bay-Delta Plan), which establishes water quality control measures and flow requirements needed to provide reasonable protection of beneficial uses in the watershed.

Bay-Delta Plan Update and Implementation Processes

Two vast and distinct river systems join to form the Bay-Delta: the Sacramento River in the north and the San Joaquin River in the south. Each of these systems is fed by snowmelt from differing geographic regions and can vary significantly in terms of precipitation, topography, and at-risk native fish and wildlife.

The Bay-Delta Plan is being updated and implemented through separate processes. In December 2018, the State Water Board adopted Bay-Delta Plan amendments focused on flows in the Lower San Joaquin River and its three major tributaries (the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced Rivers) for the protection of fish and wildlife. In addition, the 2018 Bay-Delta Plan amendments included a new salinity objective for the reasonable protection of agricultural uses in the southern Delta. Separately, the State Water Board is considering possible updates to the Bay-Delta Plan that would be needed for a proposed voluntary agreement for the Tuolumne River.

The State Water Board is also considering updates to the Bay-Delta Plan focused on the Sacramento River and its tributaries, Delta eastside tributaries (including the Calaveras, Cosumnes, and Mokelumne Rivers), interior Delta flows, and Delta outflows, including consideration of proposed voluntary agreements.

Additional information about these processes can be found on the pages linked below.

Two vast and distinct river systems join to form the Bay-Delta


Click on Map to Enlarge

Outreach and Engagement

Water Rights Fact Sheets

Environmental Justice

Bay-Delta Tribal Coordination

Visit our tribal coordination webpage for more information on outreach and consultation with California Native American Tribes.

Mill, Deer, and Antelope Creeks

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Lower San Joaquin River/Southern Delta:


Other Bay-Delta matters: