Bay-Delta Plan Implementation Activities - Southern Delta Salinity

As part of the 2018 Bay-Delta Plan updates, the southern Delta salinity objective for the reasonable protection of agricultural beneficial uses was revised. The program of implementation describes the actions necessary to achieve the objective and the monitoring, special studies, and reporting requirements that the State Water Board will use to evaluate compliance with the objective and to support implementation and understanding of salinity conditions in the southern Delta.

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Comprehensive Operations Plan

The Bay-Delta Plan requires a Comprehensive Operations Plan (COP) to address impacts of State Water Project (SWP) and Central Valley Project (CVP) operations on southern Delta salinity. Specifically, the COP must: 1) describe the actions that will fully address the impacts of SWP and CVP export operations on water levels and flow conditions that may affect salinity conditions in the southern Delta, including the availability of assimilative capacity for local sources of salinity; 2) include detailed information regarding the configuration and operations of any facilities relied upon in the plan; 3) identify specific performance goals (i.e., water levels, flows, or other similar measures) for these facilities; and 4) be developed in consultation with the South Delta Water Agency, Contra Costa Water District, State Water Board staff, other state and federal resource agencies, and local stakeholders.

  • September 30, 2020 – Revised and Updated Draft Comprehensive Operations Plan and Monitoring Special Study
    • Responses to Comments on the Draft COP and MSS (Appendix A)
    • Studies Informing Southern Delta Salinity Draft COP and MSS (Appendix B)
    • Comments received on the 2020 Revised and Updated Draft COP and MSS
      • Contra Costa Water District
      • South Delta Water Agency
  • 2019 Draft Comprehensive Operations Plan, Monitoring Special Study, and Summary of Studies Informing South Delta Salinity (Attachment 1)
    • August 23, 2019 – Letter from DWR and USBR submitting the Draft Comprehensive Operations Plan and Monitoring Special Study
    • April 1, 2020 – Revised Notice of Availability
    • February 28, 2020 – Notice of Availability
    • Comments received on the 2019 Draft Comprehensive Operations Plan and Monitoring and Special Study
      • California Farm Bureau Federation
      • Contra Costa Water District
      • Restore the Delta
      • San Joaquin Tributaries Authority
      • South Delta Water Agency
      • Westlands Water District
  • July 09, 2019 – Letter from Executive Director to DWR and USBR requesting the Comprehensive Operations Plan and Monitoring Special Study

Monitoring Special Study

A Monitoring Special Study is required prior to the development of a long-term Monitoring and Reporting Plan (described below). The Monitoring Special Study must characterize the spatial and temporal distribution and associated dynamics of water level, flow, and salinity conditions in the southern Delta waterways; and must identify the extent of low or null flow conditions of any associated concentration of local salt discharges.

  • May 5, 2023 − Letter from Executive Director conditionally approving the Updated Monitoring Special Study Plan
  • 2022 – Updated Monitoring Special Study Plan (stand-alone plan submitted September 19, 2022)
    • Attachments and Appendices
      • Attachment 1 – High Speed Salinity Transect Mapping Work Plan
      • Attachment 2 – Point Source and Ion Sampling Work Plan
      • Attachment 3 – SCHISM 3D Hydrodynamic and Water Quality Work Plan
      • Attachment 4 – Water Quality Data Assimilation Work Plan
      • Appendix A – Response to Comments
      • Appendix B – Outreach to Participating Organizations
  • 2020 − Revised Draft Monitoring Special Study (submitted with the 2020 COP above)
  • 2019 − Draft Monitoring Special Study (submitted with the 2019 COP above)

Monitoring and Reporting Plan

A Monitoring and Reporting Plan must include long-term monitoring protocols to measure compliance with the performance goals of the COP, and to assess attainment of the salinity objectives in the interior southern Delta. These monitoring and reporting protocols must be based on the information obtained in the Monitoring Special Study, and must include specific compliance monitoring locations in, or monitoring protocols for, the three river segments that comprise the interior southern delta salinity compliance locations.

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