Bay-Delta Plan Implementation Activities - Lower San Joaquin River Flows

As part of the 2018 Bay-Delta Plan updates, new and revised water quality flow objectives for the Lower San Joaquin River watershed were adopted as a numeric range expressed as a percent of unimpaired flow to provide flexibility and reasonably protect fish and wildlife beneficial uses. The program of implementation describes flow-related actions on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced Rivers that are necessary to achieve the flow objectives and to support implementation.

  To receive a copy of any of the documents on this webpage please contact LSJR-SD-Comments@waterboards.ca.gov.

Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced Working Group

The Bay-Delta Plan requires the formation of a Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced Working Group, or STM, to act as a regional watershed group that will coordinate activities in the Lower San Joaquin River and the three eastside tributaries. The STM Working Group will assist with implementation of the LSJR tributary and base flow objectives, including coordination of tributary flows, monitoring and assessment, and evaluation of the LSJR flow objectives. The State Water Board will seek recommendations from the STM Working Group on biological goals, compliance methods for the tributary flow objectives, procedures for implementing adaptive methods, annual adaptive operations plans, and the San Joaquin River Monitoring and Evaluation Program.

  Any person desiring to receive future notices concerning the STM Working Group should sign up for the State Water Board’s “STM Working Group” email subscription list under “Water Rights”. Subscribe to receive email updates - STM Working Group.

  For more information, please direct questions to Erin Foresman at STM-WorkingGroup@waterboards.ca.gov.

Biological Goals

The Bay-Delta Plan requires the development of quantitative biological goals which will be used to assess progress toward meeting the narrative objectives, inform adaptive implementation decisions, and inform future updates to Bay-Delta Plan objectives.

The 2018 Framework for the Sacramento/Delta update to the Bay-Delta Plan includes a proposal for establishing biological goals for assessing progress toward meeting the narrative objectives and informing adaptive implementation. Biological goals for the Sacramento River watershed, Delta, and three eastside tributaries will proceed with the timeline for the Sacramento/Delta plan update and be consistent with biological goals for the Lower San Joaquin River.

Revised Draft Initial Biological Goals for San Joaquin River Salmon

The State Water Board released a revised draft which incorporates responses to comments received on the previous draft.

Draft Initial Biological Goals for San Joaquin River Salmon

  • September 20, 2019 – Notice of Availability
  • September 20, 2019 – Draft Initial Biological Goals Report
      To receive a copy of comments received on the Draft Initial Biologicals Report please contact LSJR-SD-Comments@waterboards.ca.gov.
    • Select references used for development of the Draft Initial Biological Goals.
      • 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

Delta Independent Science Advisory Panel on Biological Goals

On March 04, 2019, the Delta Science Program convened an independent scientific advisory panel (Panel) to recommend scientifically defensible methods for formulating biological goals that can be used to assess progress toward achieving Bay-Delta Plan narrative objectives. The Panel, in a report, provided input and recommendations to the State Water Board on the methods and approaches that should be used to formulate biological goals.

  For more information, please see the Bay-Delta Plan Biological Goals Scientific Advisory Panel website.

Compliance Measures and Procedures for Adaptive Methods

Compliance Measures

The Bay-Delta Plan requires the development of information and specific measures to achieve the flow objectives and to monitor and evaluate compliance with the flow objectives.

Initial Unimpaired Flow Compliance Measures

The State Water Board released initial compliance measures to provide the general conceptual basis to develop regulatory compliance measures. The initial compliance methods serve as a starting point for developing more detailed compliance methods and adaptive implementation procedures as required by the Bay-Delta Plan. These products will inform regulatory compliance procedures that may be required in a future water quality or water right proceeding to implement the Bay-Delta Plan. The State Water Board is currently preparing a second report which builds on and refines the concepts that were presented in the previous report. Compliance measures are intended to be updated as new information becomes available. Updated compliance methods are expected to be released for public review and comment in Summer/Fall of 2022.

Procedures for Adaptive Methods

The Bay-Delta Plan requires procedures to be developed and proposed for allowing adaptive adjustments to the February through June flow objectives. The biological goals and compliance measures will inform development of these procedures. Procedures for implementing adaptive methods are intended to be updated as new information becomes available.

Draft procedures for adaptive methods are included in updates to compliance methods which are expected to be released for public comment in summer/fall of 2022.

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Contact Us

To receive a copy of any of the documents on this webpage,
please contact LSJR-SD-Comments@waterboards.ca.gov.