A Look at the Delta through the years and the latest attempt to mess with Nature or Revise the Delta!

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Welcome to
Delta REvision.com
(i.e. what the government wants to do with the Delta)
(click on graphics to open full sizes of each)

Update 11-2-09  A staggering number of bills and amendments to bills, all related to the New Delta water plan were introduced, revised and amended.  Review is scheduled to happen Monday November 2, 2009 at the State Capitol building.  If you care to read the bills, here they are in PDF format.  (Note that the DWR website is down for maintenance the whole week end, until 8:00 PM tonight.  Interesting timing!) Go to the Planning Maps pages to get a visual idea of the complexity of the proposals

Link to another great video- history of CA water woes and who's behind the battle now!  Cut & paste web address to your web browser address bar:

click on picture above for 4-minute video about Delta people, but come back to see more planning maps here!


SB 12
SB 62
SB 63
SB 681
SB 229

ab 6
ab 13
ab 39
ab 49
ab 180
ab 1408

More proposed bills at Proposed Laws page

Other possible bills:

AB 9-Delta PR Code.pdf
AB 11-Enforcement Tools.pdf
AB 10-Groundwater.pdf
AB 8-Conservation.pdf


Update  posted 10-30-09.  As we said, stalled does not mean stopped.  Click on the link to see the latest Water Bill to be voted on according to news media   2009-2010 Revised Water  Bill  that could destroy the Delta as it is today.   

see also the BDCP maps for a quick view of the future of the Delta if the bills are passed on Monday Nov 2, 2009
Sept 2009 update:  The current official legislative session for the year has ended and the new "Delta Plan" has not yet been approved.  However, assembly members are calling for a special session to deal ONLY with the water bills.   The Federal government, via Secretary of Interior, has said they will now be involved in the largest plumbing remodel job in US history.  A few weeks ago, the 5 different water bills were revised so much that State Senator Wolk pulled her bill for a Delta Conservancy, and other environmental groups withdrew their support.  But don't be fooled by the gamesmanship going on.  Stalled does not mean stopped.  The East Canal is already halfway dug and Statten Island and Bacon Island could easily become "In Delta Storage" facilities according to visual records:  Connect the Delta Dots report and decisions from studies reported in 2005.  Here's and interesting link and pay special notice all the reports from 2003-2005:  http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/wq_control_plans/2006wqcp/revised_app2_refdocs.shtml#cbda

There's also an interesting series of maps developed 2004-2006 showing the concept of the SoCal water districts to very quickly do a "Eco-crescent central canal" in the Delta, using gates to stop possible salt water intrusion if islands to the west happen to fail in a flood or seismic event.  In this map the "two gates" project seems more like a "5 gates" project.  Compare maps  This type of canal would split the Delta in half, east and west, and lands to the west of the central canal would be encroached by salt water, lands to the east would still have the fresh water of the Sacramento River.  So it seems the folks at Bethel Island and DiscoBay do have valid reason to voice their concerns!  Go to the 2006 documents.  The 2006 UC Berkeley Colloquium on Water talked about a "Delta Central Park" concept or a "Delta National Park" also.  You can go to Youtube to see those interesting lectures. 

     Historically, the state has come close to doing a major water project, then "couldn't find the funding" and the feds stepped in and "saved the day".  Californians then were happy because their perception was that someone else was paying for California benefit (ignoring its our own federal tax dollars that fund the fed projects) and since the federal legislators were for the project the EPA-types and other environmentalists or opposition of those bygone days backed off somewhat.   For example, part of the "Project Levees" were built/paid for in part by "New Deal" Federal Funds when the state legislators of that time agreed they wanted to improve the levees but couldn't find the funds.  Our prediction for the last few months:  We would not be surprised if a "big name" from Washington DC came to California to "save the day" so that infrastructure monies can flow into California like water through the aqueduct after a rainy winter!  That would make many Californians happy, but would in effect take away the land rights of the Delta landowner.  (Since this prediction was made in August 2009, the Feds have clearly gotten involved & Senator Feinstein is working on the "biggest bill" of her career as of October 14, 2009)

      The amount of California tax dollars that has been spent to generate reports in support of the new Delta Plan is staggering.  From documentation it appears that a decision was made by the water czars in 2000 to switch to a new Delta Plan, and the lead agencies were advised in January 2001 their Delta restoration focus should be Delta-wide, not just the South Delta area.  Take a look at the document trail starting with 2001 to 2005.  Of course, the studies can be validated (if one would ask) by the decisions in the 1990's regarding safe water flow for the Delta.  Note the 2003 letter from our governator, sent to our senators BEFORE he was governor.  Note the 2006 letter from the governator to several CA state legislators.  We have not been able to get a clear picture of the total funds or where the funds came from so instead we will start uploading the literally hundreds of thousands of pages of studies, slideshows and reports generated in the last few years to support the "dual conveyance" plan while also looking at areas of the delta that could be restored as mitigation for the damage to be done by taking extra water.  Over the next few weeks, we will be uploading the documents, most in pdf format and all assumed to be indented for public viewing as they were generated by public entities or else private entities paid for by public funds, and therefore appropriate for public viewing at this time, without infraction of any copyright laws.

     Then, as now, the state may pay for levee improvements to protect STATE interests, like avoiding flooding in Sacramento area and stopping salt water intrusion into the Delta so that the water will be good enough for transport to other areas of California.

A short history of California's water wars from the perspective of a Delta landowner:

     In the 1850's to 1900's the state sold lands owned in the Delta area to individuals who wanted to reclaim land for farming and other beneficial uses.  People purchased their lands and built up the existing natural levees to protect against floods.  In the meantime, refuse from the gold mines washed downstream in the winter months, literally filling up some of the formerly naturally deep waterways with silt and mining muck.  The "Middle Fork" of the Sacramento River, a naturally deep passage for boats traveling from San Francisco to Sacramento, later renamed Steamboat Slough, is an example.  By 1880's this river was not useable in low tides due to all the silting.  In the 1910's and thereafter, the Federal government agreed with California state politicians that protecting some levees and waterways in the Delta were important to assure flood protection for Sacramento area, and also to assure fresh water supply through the Delta.  Hence using some of the "New Deal" infrastructure monies, certain levees were improved and thereafter labeled "project levees".  The Federal government also built the first of two main water channels or aqueducts to carry some of the water from the Delta down to the growing SoCal cities, especially Los Angeles.  Later, California decided to do another water project, so that more water could be taken from the Delta to send to barren lands of the Central Valley, like Fresno and Kern counties.  The farmers on the east side of the Central Valley had primary water rights because their water had been taken from the San Joaquin River where they riparian water rights.  The farmers on the west side of the Central Valley, however, had to contract for water, and their contracts allowed them water ONLY when there was enough water in the Delta to ship out.  Their water rights are called secondary and in low rain years they might not get the water allotment they had contracted for.  The Westland Water District was formed to protect the water contract rights of these farmers, and to work with the state to find more consistent sources of water for the Central Valley farmers on the west side of the valley.

     In the 1960's the State of California water wonks came up with an idea for a California-built canal that would go around the Delta, taking the fresh Sacramento water to the then-new California aqueduct to send it on down south.  1965 Map.  It didn't get built because folks thought it was a bad idea to mess with the wonderful Delta.  In 1980 the same "peripheral canal" idea was put to a vote of the people of the state and again it was turned down as a bad idea.  Starting in 2003 and earlier, a group of mostly SoCal large land owners started pushing for the idea again and the current governor allowed millions in state funds to be used for studies to validate why NOW would be a better time to build that same canal that was considered a bad idea before.  This time they call it "Dual Conveyance".

     We've been gathering more documents, most in pdf format, so our viewers can open and read the documents.  It appears about One Billion Dollars of the California deficit must have been spent on all these reports, studies, proposals and meetings.  So what is all this Delta talk about anyway?  ...  Simply stated, the drinking water of the state is taken mostly from the San Joaquin River and so much water is being taken out that the salt water from the San Francisco Bay is merging with the fresh water, which makes it to salty for drinking and farming without extra filtering or treatment.  So instead, some state agencies want to take the water out of the Sacramento River.  Sounds simple, but it isn't.  By taking more water out of the Sacramento River, the very productive Delta islands around the lower Sacramento River will potentially be ruined by the extra salt water that will infiltrate the Sacramento River.  There's also the complications of various fish species failing to thrive due to the water suction pumps, which suck up and kill the fish. 

     More to come...

Our intent with this website is to remain neutral on the various components of the new plans for the California Delta region, aka Sacramento Delta and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  Let the reader come to his or her own opinions based on the information provided by all sides of the issues. 
Please go to the Planning Maps page to see some current maps posted online regarding plans for habitat restoration areas and revised Delta recreation areas.
Documents from  BDCP

Delta Vision

pending laws

Important to read!
Delta Vision Plan11/08
Senate Bill #1 (PSB 1) by Senator Simitian (8/2009)

AB 1 (AB 39 content) by Assemblyman Huffman for New Delta Plan development

SB 4 (SB 458 Content) by Senator Wolk to revise provision of the Delta Protection Act and create the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy

       Section 3 Conservation Measures:  July 2009
Final Delta Strategic Plan Report
BDCP handout

BDCP Notice of EIR/EIS- 2/13/09



12 page summary

Restoration Plans

Ecosystem Restoration Project List and Descriptions for the Delta

Delta Protection Commission



 Index Summary 
Compiled by Delta citizens and Delta Voices Last Modified :01/15/14 04:34 PM Copyright 2009-2013 ,