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About the CVP

Bay-Delta Restoration

The Bay-Delta Region, comprising the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta, has been described as California's "water faucet." Drinking water for 22 million people and irrigation water for 4 million acres of the world's most productive farmland passes through the Delta. The Delta covers 730,000 acres of land interlaced with hundreds of miles of waterway, and it is home to 750 species of plants and animals. It is also the location of one of the nation's most productive salmon fisheries as well as a critical part of the Pacific Flyway used by millions of migrating birds each year.

The Delta, after 150 years of unmanaged development and abuse, has been over-stressed by water supply demands, aging levees, and poor water quality. Knowing that drastic measures were needed to save the estuary and provide more certainty about water supplies, Reclamation and other Federal agencies; California State and local agencies; and urban, agricultural, business, and environmental interests initiated the most open, public stakeholder process in California's water history. The result in 1994 was the historic Bay-Delta Accord, a consensus-based framework to comply with water quality and endangered species requirements while strengthening California's long-term economic health.

The other key outcome was CALFED, a joint Federal-State program created to restore the Bay-Delta. The CALFED Bay-Delta Program, of which Reclamation is a principal partner, is working to develop a long-term comprehensive plan to restore the ecological health and improve the water management of the Bay-Delta system. The approaches include long-term levee protection, water quality, ecosystem restoration, and water use efficiency programs. Water transfers, improved watershed management coordination, additional water storage, and new conveyance systems could also be elements of the restoration effort.

Visit our Bay-Delta Office website

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