SB 687 (Eggman)
On April 25th, SCFB sent a letter of support for SB 687 (Eggman) to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. SB 687 was referred back to the committee after the Senate made an amendment on April 12th.
This bill would ensure that the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) updates the Bay-Delta Plan before considering a change in point of diversion permit associated with the Delta Conveyance Project. Doing so would prevent Delta water diversions to occur as a result of the Delta Conveyance Project, unless the updated Bay-Delta Plan is fully implemented.
The full Water Quality Control Plan was last approved by the SWRCB in 1995. An update was presented in 2018 indicating urgent efforts were needed to address the prolonged declines of the Delta ecosystem, but the SWRCB only adopted a partial update for the San Joaquin/Southern Delta portion and has not developed implementation regulations.
A water quality control plan outlines how to best manage the water resources of an area to provide the highest quality of water possible. Degradation of water quality greatly impacts not only the environment, but also food production, levee integrity, and the Delta communities. Implementation of a final and complete Bay-Delta Plan is needed first to redirect the health of the Delta watershed, in order to then be able to fully analyze the impacts of the proposed Delta Conveyance Project. A complete Bay-Delta Plan that includes water quality objectives for the entire watershed, not just one portion, needs to be approved and implemented in order to analyze and be able to determine additional diversions in the Delta.
An updated Bay-Delta Plan is essential to protect the water quality of the Delta for both urban and rural communities who rely on this vital resource, which is threatened by the proliferation of harmful algal blooms, saltwater intrusion, agricultural run-off and other sources of pollution. SB 687 recognizes this and requires the state to ensure the management of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary is current and properly supported through the Bay-Delta Plan on water quality objectives to maintain water quality in the Delta for farms, cities, and the environment. Priority needs to be given to the sustainability of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary first, above any water diversions to other areas. It is for this reason that SCFB supports SB 687.
Past Documentation of previous Tunnel Projects
delta stewardship council
The Council was created to advance the state’s coequal goals for the Delta – a more reliable statewide water supply and a healthy and protected ecosystem, both achieved in a manner that protects the unique characteristics of the Delta.
The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. “’Coequal goals’ means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place.” (CA Water Code §85054)
The Office of the Delta Watermaster is an independent officer of the State, appointed to a four-year term by the State Water Resources Control Board, reporting jointly to the Water Board and to the Delta Stewardship Council.
The Office of the Delta Watermaster was created as part of the Delta Reform Act of 2009. The Watermaster is an independent officer of the State, appointed to a four-year term by the State Water Resources Control Board, reporting jointly to the Water Board and to the Delta Stewardship Council. The Watermaster is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day administration of water rights, and, when necessary, for taking enforcement action, related to water diversions within the Delta. The Watermaster also confers with and assists both the Water Board and the Stewardship Council as they carry out their respective legislative mandates to achieve the dual objectives of enhancing the Delta ecosystem and improving water supply reliability within the constraints of the water rights system and of the Delta as an evolving place.
delta Drought Response Pilot Program
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy, in partnership with the Department of Water Resources, the Office of the Delta Watermaster, and The Nature Conservancy, and in coordination with Delta water users, has initiated the Delta Drought Response Pilot Program for water year 2023.
The goals of the 2023 Program are to reduce drought stress in the Delta watershed by incentivizing agricultural water users to incorporate practices into their operations that:
Conserve water on a net basis during water year 2023
Protect Delta water quality by providing an added buffer against salinity intrusion
Promote soil health
Mitigate potential drought impacts on fish and migratory birds
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area
Passed on March 12, 2019, S. 47 (John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act) established the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area (Delta NHA).
National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural, historic, and recreation resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. NHAs are a grassroots, community-driven approach to heritage conservation and economic development. Designated local coordinating entities collaborate with communities to determine how to make heritage relevant to local interests and needs.
As part of the Delta Protection Commission’s work on Delta Heritage and the National Heritage Area, they engage in public education, historic preservation, tourism and recreation development, visitor amenities, and economic development activities.