Bay-Delta Conservation Plan

The Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is a collaborative planning effort between governmental regulatory agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the public, and is designed to achieve the co-equal goals of restoring the Delta’s ecosystem and improving water supply reliability for over 25 million Californians.

The goals of the BDCP are to:

  • Restore Bay-Delta habitat
  • Reinvigorate native species, including salmon and sturgeon
  • Ensure a sustainable water supply to both California residents and the state’s agricultural industry

American Rivers is currently working to integrate sustainable flood management strategies into the BDCP’s larger goals of habitat restoration and water supply reliability. Floodplain restoration and the expansion of floodway corridors form the cornerstone of any sustainable flood management strategy, and American Rivers advocates incorporating these methods into the existing BDCP. 

The central features of the current plan include a major overhaul of the water conveyance infrastructure as well as new regulatory authorizations under the federal and state endangered species acts.

Including floodplain restoration and floodway expansion strategies would:

  • Give more room to rivers to safely convey future flood events, thereby protecting the public safety of tens of thousands of people in the Central Valley
  • Restore natural habitat vital for native fish and waterfowl populations
  • Enhance water supply reliability over time by easing upstream reservoir rules

Sustainable flood management strategies are vital in ensuring public safety, providing a stable water supply, and restoring river health. American Rivers promotes both a comprehensive and integrative approach to the BDCP – including flood management, water supply, and ecological concerns.

As a member of the BDCP Steering Committee, American Rivers collaborates with other environmental organizations, state and federal regulatory agencies, fish and wildlife agencies, water agencies, and other stakeholders. The Steering Committee expects to release the plan’s final draft by 2013.