San Francisco Bay/Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta Estuary (Bay-Delta) Watershed Efforts

Bay-Delta Plan Update

Protecting the 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 Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta Estuary (Bay-Delta Plan), which establishes water quality control measures and flow requirements needed to provide reasonable protection of beneficial uses in the watershed. The State Water Board is now engaged in urgent efforts to address prolonged and precipitous declines of native aquatic species in the Bay-Delta and the ecosystem they depend upon.

The Bay-Delta Plan is being updated through two separate processes (Plan amendments).

  • First, on December 12, 2018, through State Water Board Resolution No. 2018-0059, the State Water Board adopted the Plan amendments and Final SED establishing the Lower San Joaquin River flow objectives and revised southern Delta salinity objectives. On February 25, 2019, the Office of Administrative Law approved the Plan amendments, which are now in effect.
  • Second, the State Water Board is also considering Plan amendments focused on the Sacramento River and its tributaries, Delta eastside tributaries (including the Calaveras, Cosumnes, and Mokelumne rivers), Delta outflows, and interior Delta flows.

During an information item at a regularly scheduled meeting on December 7-8, 2021, the State Water Board informed the public about past and upcoming actions related to the above processes to update and implement the Bay-Delta Plan.  Information from that informational item is available below. To receive a copy of any of the comments please contact

Below, please find important links to information pertaining to the Bay-Delta planning and implementation efforts.  Related to the Bay-Delta Plan update and implementation process, the California Natural Resources Agency is currently engaged in an effort to develop proposed voluntary agreements with various water users in the watershed. Information regarding the proposed voluntary agreements process is available here.

Biological Goals

  • Notice of Availability for Public Review and Comment
  • Draft Initial Biological Goals for the Lower San Joaquin River
  • Select references used for development of the Draft Initial Biological Goals are available on request
    • Conservation Planning Foundation for Restoring Chinook Salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawytscha) and O. mykiss in Stanislaus River
    • Developing Biological Goals for the Bay-Delta Plan: Concepts and Ideas from an Independent Science Advisory Panel
    • Proposed Interim Delta Salmonid Survival Objectives
  • New Comments Received on the Draft Initial Biological Goals for the Lower San Joaquin River. If you would like a copy of the below comments, please contact
    • Bradley Cavallo, Cramer Fish Sciences
    • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
    • California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Water Impact Network, and AquAlliance
    • California Water Research
    • Merced Irrigation District
    • Modesto Irrigation District, Turlock Irrigation District, and the City and County of San Francisco
    • Natural Resources Defense Council
    • North Coast Rivers Alliance, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, and San Francisco Crab Boat Owners Association
    • Northern California Water Association
    • Restore the Delta
    • San Francisco Baykeeper, The Bay Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club California, and California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
    • San Joaquin Tributaries Authority
    • State Water Contractors
    • Stockton East Water District
    • Tuolumne River Trust
    • United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation

Compliance Measures

Updated November 7, 2019

Drought Information

  For more information on drought activities in other regions of the state, visit the main drought webpage.

  For information regarding drought activities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed, please visit the Delta Watershed Drought Information webpage.

The following links include information on past and current drought response actions:

Bay-Delta Compliance

Information on some of the Bay-Delta compliance issues is located at the following links:

Water Quality Control Plans and Associated Water Right Decisions

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