The State Water Resources Control Board is updating the Water Quality Control Plan for the Bay-Delta (Bay-Delta Plan). The purpose of the Bay-Delta Plan is to establish water quality control measures that provide reasonable protection of beneficial uses in the greater Delta watershed, which includes all of the Sacramento Valley and portions of the San Joaquin Valley. The Bay-Delta Plan is currently being updated through two separate processes. The first amendment is focused on the San Joaquin River and southern Delta salinity. The second amendment is focused on the Sacramento River and its tributaries and Delta interior flows and outflow.
In July, the State Water Board released the final draft, which would require 40% of unimpaired flows for February through June, with an allowed adaptive range between 30 to 50%, for the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced Rivers through to the San Joaquin River. The proposed flow objectives are intended to increase the required flows left in rivers for the protection of fish and wildlife, but would significantly reduce water available to water users in the Lower San Joaquin River Watershed.