CALFED Bay-Delta Program heading
  • Governor Brown
  • John Laird, Resources Secretary
  • Joe Grindstaff, CALFED Director

CALFED History

The CALFED Bay-Delta Program emerged from water crises of the 1990s, and was shaped by funding crises in the early 2000s. It was seen as an alternative to the costly and time-consuming legal wrangling amongst Delta interests and a way to solve conflicts in the Delta to benefit the system. Throughout these decades, it has always embodied the most important ideals of government: interagency coordination, collaborative problem-solving and public involvement leading to open and transparent decision-making and accountability.

Recent History: CALFED Refocusing

As an ecosystem, the Delta is unique as the largest estuary on the Pacific Coast and home to more than 750 species of flora and fauna. Additionally, the Delta is home to more than 500,000 people, a major recreation destination and a crossroads for Northern California infrastructure. Finally, the importance of the Delta has made it a politically-charged battleground that has compounded the issue of finding solutions to its problems as an aging and increasingly fragile system susceptible to the forces of land subsidence, seasonal flooding, a future of climate change and sea level rise, the specter of earthquake and the collapse of its ecosystem.

This Plan outlines the new way CALFED will work – still as an integral part of the overall California Water Plan – to bypass old stumbling blocks and forge ahead to solve crises in the Delta. This Plan has the support and commitment of the 25 state and federal agencies that comprise CALFED and their commitment to working with policymakers, local and regional entities, the state’s environmental justice and tribal communities, and other stakeholders to make CALFED a success.

Learn more about CALFED’s revitalization and refocusing efforts: