Aerial view of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta—a great natural treasure with more than 500 species, and a vital link in the state’s water system, spanning five counties in northern California at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. (Photo by Paul Harnes/CA Dept. of Water Resources.)

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a network of channels, levees, and marshes that direct water as it flows west from the Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s vital to both our water supplies and our environment, a home to many species of fish, birds, and the wildlife.  

Our existing water distribution system is outdated and causing significant environmental damage. The current pumping system causes reverse river flows that can harm species. Fish, like the Delta smelt, get caught in the screens or pulled off their migration course and towards predators. Billions of gallons of water that should be conveyed to our homes, farms, and businesses, needlessly flow out to sea because our antiquated water distribution system is unable to move water – even when we have it in abundance.

“Maintaining the status quo is an irresponsible approach that will push the Delta smelt to the point of extinction while continuing the decline of the Delta ecosystem.” –Gerald H. Meral, California water director of the Natural Heritage Institute



The riparian area along HIll Slough, located near Grizzly Island Rd. in Suisun City | Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. (Photo by CA Dept. of Water Resources.)

The California WaterFix will transport water supplies through a modern water pipeline underground, helping to meet the water supply demands of more than 25 million Californians, while restoring more natural river flows in the Delta above ground to benefit fish and wildlife. Our state could secure water supply more reliably with more flexibility to move water where it is needed most, without harming fish.

The California WaterFix was drafted after nearly a decade of extensive expert review, planning and scientific and environmental analysis by the state’s leading water experts, engineers and conservationists, and unprecedented public comment and participation. It is the only viable plan supported by leading scientists, water agencies, engineers and other experts. Failure to move forward with the California WaterFix will only result in the further decline of the Delta environment and declining water supplies for communities all across the state.

For more information: