DFG Report Finds Delta Ecosystem and its Species Thirst for More Water

On Tuesday the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) released a draft advisory report entitled, “Quantifiable Biological Objectives and Flow Criteria for Aquatic and Terrestrial Species of Concern Dependent on the Delta.” The report, mandated by the Delta Reform Act of 2009 (Senate Bill X7 1), requires DFG to develop flow criteria and quantifiable objectives for the delta ecosystem and species of concern. DFG’s findings will be used to inform the Delta Stewardship Council’s comprehensive management plan for the Delta and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

As stated in the report, “Changes in Delta flows resulting from upstream diversions and operations of the State and federal water projects upstream and in the Delta have resulted in modification of the hydraulic and physical habitat of the Delta system which in turn has altered the Delta ecosystem… current Delta water flows for environmental resources are not adequate to maintain, recover, or restore the functions and processes the support native Delta fish.” The report’s findings are consistent with the State Water Resources Control Board’s recently adopted flow criteria which found the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta needs more fresh water flows to sustain the health of the ecosystem.

The draft report is open for public comment until October 15th.