Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT

DIVISION 35. SACRAMENTO-SAN JOAQUIN DELTA REFORM ACT OF 2009 [85000 - 85350]

  ( Division 35 added by Stats. 2009, 7th Ex. Sess., Ch. 5, Sec. 39. )

PART 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS [85000 - 85067]

  ( Part 1 added by Stats. 2009, 7th Ex. Sess., Ch. 5, Sec. 39. )

CHAPTER 1. Short Title and Legislative Findings [85000 - 85004]
  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 2009, 7th Ex. Sess., Ch. 5, Sec. 39. )

85000.
  

This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act of 2009.

(Added by Stats. 2009, 7th Ex. Sess., Ch. 5, Sec. 39. (SB 1 7x) Effective February 3, 2010.)

85001.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed and California’s water infrastructure are in crisis and existing Delta policies are not sustainable. Resolving the crisis requires fundamental reorganization of the state’s management of Delta watershed resources.

(b) In response to the Delta crisis, the Legislature and the Governor required development of a new long-term strategic vision for managing the Delta. The Governor appointed a Blue Ribbon Task Force to recommend a new “Delta Vision Strategic Plan” to his cabinet committee, which, in turn, made recommendations for a Delta Vision to the Governor and the Legislature on January 3, 2009.

(c) By enacting this division, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide for the sustainable management of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem, to provide for a more reliable water supply for the state, to protect and enhance the quality of water supply from the Delta, and to establish a governance structure that will direct efforts across state agencies to develop a legally enforceable Delta Plan.

(Added by Stats. 2009, 7th Ex. Sess., Ch. 5, Sec. 39. (SB 1 7x) Effective February 3, 2010.)

85002.
  

The Legislature finds and declares that the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, referred to as “the Delta” in this division, is a critically important natural resource for California and the nation. It serves Californians concurrently as both the hub of the California water system and the most valuable estuary and wetland ecosystem on the west coast of North and South America.

(Added by Stats. 2009, 7th Ex. Sess., Ch. 5, Sec. 39. (SB 1 7x) Effective February 3, 2010.)

85003.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Originally, the Delta was a shallow wetland with water covering the area for many months of the year. Natural levees, created by deposits of sediment, allowed some islands to emerge during the dry summer months. Salinity would fluctuate, depending on the season and the amount of precipitation in any one year, and the species that comprised the Delta ecosystem had evolved and adapted to this unique, dynamic system.

(b) Delta property ownership developed pursuant to the federal Swamp Land Act of 1850, and state legislation enacted in 1861, and as a result of the construction of levees to keep previously seasonal wetlands dry throughout the year. That property ownership, and the exercise of associated rights, continue to depend on the landowners’ maintenance of those nonproject levees and do not include any right to state funding of levee maintenance or repair.

(c) In 1933, the Legislature approved the California Central Valley Project Act, which relied upon the transfer of Sacramento River water south through the Delta and maintenance of a more constant salinity regime by using upstream reservoir releases of freshwater to create a hydraulic salinity barrier. As a result of the operations of state and federal water projects, the natural salinity variations in the Delta have been altered. Restoring a healthy estuarine ecosystem in the Delta may require developing a more natural salinity regime in parts of the Delta.

(Added by Stats. 2009, 7th Ex. Sess., Ch. 5, Sec. 39. (SB 1 7x) Effective February 3, 2010.)

85004.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The economies of major regions of the state depend on the ability to use water within the Delta watershed or to import water from the Delta watershed. More than two-thirds of the residents of the state and more than two million acres of highly productive farmland receive water exported from the Delta watershed.

(b) Providing a more reliable water supply for the state involves implementation of water use efficiency and conservation projects, wastewater reclamation projects, desalination, and new and improved infrastructure, including water storage and Delta conveyance facilities.

(Added by Stats. 2009, 7th Ex. Sess., Ch. 5, Sec. 39. (SB 1 7x) Effective February 3, 2010.)

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