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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed Drought & Curtailment Information

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) watershed is a crucial source of water for much of California for people and the environment. The Delta watershed comprises approximately 20 percent of California’s land mass and constitutes the state’s largest source of surface water supplying a portion of the water supply to two-thirds of Californians and millions of acres of farmland. The Delta is also home to numerous fish, wildlife, and plant species of very high ecological, economic, and cultural importance.

The Delta watershed and all of California is experiencing a second consecutive year of dry conditions, which has resulted in drought or near-drought conditions throughout the state. The combination of unusually low precipitation, warm temperatures, and dry soils have resulted in unprecedented low runoff from the Sierra-Cascade snowpack, resulting in significant reductions in water supplies and extreme low reservoir storage levels. In recognition of these dry conditions, on May 10, 2021, Governor Newsom declared a drought emergency for 41 counties, including those within the Delta watershed, outlining various actions that the State Water Board and other agencies should take or consider, including curtailments to prohibit diversions when water is not available at a water right holder’s or claimant’s priority of right.


  • November 15, 2022 – Resources Available Following Staff Workshop on Proposed Refined Watershed Analysis and Friant Priority Date Adjustments in the Water Unavailability Methodology for the Delta Watershed (see Previous Events and Actions section below)
  • August 12, 2022 - Emergency Regulation Approved by the Office of Administrative Law (see Emergency Curtailment and Reporting Regulation section below)
  • August 2, 2022 – Emergency Regulation Submitted to Office of Administrative Law (see Emergency Curtailment and Reporting Regulation section below)
  • August 1, 2022 – 2022 Delta Watershed Emergency Regulation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  Delta Watershed Water Unavailability

On August 20, 2021, the State Water Board issued initial orders imposing curtailment and reporting requirements to all water right holders and claimants in the Delta watershed.

  For information on compliance and responses to curtailment and reporting orders, visit our Curtailment Compliance and Responses page.

  To request a copy of written public comments on the emergency regulation, please send an email to Bay-Delta@waterboards.ca.gov.

2022 Revision and Readoption

2021 Adoption

Responses to the forms discussed in this section must be submitted through the State Water Board’s Survey Portal. The login and password needed to access the Survey Portal are provided on the initial order, dated August 20, 2021, that all water right holders and claimants received. The login is the water right ID and the password is generally the same as the reporting identifier used to access the Electronic Water Right Information Management System (eWRIMS) Report Management System (RMS) for submission of annual reports of water diversion and use.

Compliance Certification Form
All water right holders and claimants are required to submit this form for each applicable right or claim.

Human Health and Safety Certification Form
This form is for water right holders and claimants requesting an exception to curtailment for minimum human health and safety needs.

Non-Consumptive Use Certification Form
This form is for water right holders and claimants requesting an exception to curtailment in order to continue diversions for non-consumptive uses.

Enhanced Reporting Forms

For more information regarding enhanced reporting of projected demand and prior diversions, please visit the Delta Watershed Enhanced Reporting Webpage.

Human Health and Safety Reporting Form

This form is for water right holders and claimants who continue to divert above 55 gallons per capita per day (GPCD) or an amount not quantifiable in GPCD for minimum human health and safety needs under an approved Petition to Increase Human Health and Safety Diversions. Monthly reporting using this form is required for all diversions made under an approved petition.

  Delta Watershed Curtailment Status List

This serves as a water right curtailment order.

The list below shows the curtailment status of each water right and claim in the Delta watershed (including the Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds). This curtailment order is authorized by the emergency regulation adopted by the State Water Board on July 20, 2022, and approved by the Office of Administrative Law on August 12, 2022. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 23, §§ 876.1-879.3.)

The determination of water unavailability used to inform curtailments is based on the Water Unavailability Methodology for the Delta Watershed. Documents describing the approach to assess water unavailability and the data used to support the determination are posted on the Water Unavailability Methodology webpage.

Curtailment status should not be construed as a validation of water right claims or an authorization to divert. Existing constraints on water right permits and licenses, such as seasonal diversion restrictions and bypass flow requirements, remain in effect. In addition, all water right holders and claimants may only divert under valid water rights and are not authorized to divert if it would result in injury to other water users.

Curtailment List

A status in red means the identified water right or claim of right is curtailed during the specified time period and water is not authorized for diversion unless an exception applies (please refer to the Emergency Regulation text to see if you qualify for an exception). A status in green means the identified water right or claim of right is not curtailed during the specified time period. Diverters who claim both riparian and pre-1914 appropriative water right claims under the same Statement of Diversion and Use are treated solely as riparian claimants. You can search this list by water right identification number (water right ID), owner name, water right type, and location by subwatershed and the Legal Delta boundary. This list will be updated weekly, and more frequently if there are changes in precipitation and runoff.




  Click here for a tutorial on how to check your curtailment status using the interactive list below.

  How to Conserve

   Delta watershed residents can help! Surface and groundwater users can help lessen drought impacts, and even small efforts can result in huge benefits for flows and fish.

Here are just a few ways to help:

  • Reduce diversions from surface and groundwater sources
  • Conserve water, limit non-food irrigation, and reuse graywater (i.e., water from sinks, showers, baths, washing machines, or dishwashers)
  • Coordinate diversion timing with neighbors to reduce cumulative effects
  • Prepare for ongoing drought by exploring water storage options (e.g., rain collection, roofwater harvesting, or tank storage)

  Click here for more water saving tips.

Dutch Slough
Dutch Slough, located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta near Oakley, California.
Photo credit: CA Dept of Water Resources.

  How to Report an Unauthorized Diversion or Water Waste

Report an Environmental Concern logo

  Visit the CalEPA Complaint System to report unauthorized diversions, such as violations of water right permits or diversions impacting fisheries.

Save Our Water logo

  Visit savewater.ca.gov to report water waste, such as leaks and overwatering, to your local water agency.

  Stay informed

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