Delta / Estuary

The ABAG Executive Board will meet on September 18th to hear about proposed Delta plans that may affect the region's land uses, ecosystem, agricultural and urban economy, tourism, water supplies, wastewater facilities, recreational facilities, transportation and utility networks.

New! draft Delta Vision Strategic Plan

July 8, 2008

The California Resources Agency has issued a news release to announce the draft Delta Vision Strategic Plan and invites the public to review and comment on the plan before a series of summer and fall Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force meetings. ABAG staff members are reviewing the plan to assist our member communities.

The Draft Delta Vision Strategic Plan


The Delta Protection Commission is updating its 1995 Land Useand Resource Management Plan and wants the public's help. You can submit comments on the plan's revision here. It would be helpful to have a copy of the 1995 plan handy when answering the questions. The full text of the 1995 Plan, including the goals and policies for individual elements, can be downloaded here.

Emergency Planning for Bay/Delta Levee Failures

Technical Working Group Formed

An ABAG Technical Working Group to Evaluate Bay Area Levee Hazards and Planning Options has been formed in response to statewide reports and analyses that describe serious threats to water supplies from earthquake and flood hazards in the Delta, and predict an unprecedented calamity for the Delta region under certain conditions. The working group's first priorities will be to assess funding and technical resources, and identify collaborative opportunities for emergency planning purposes as part of a mitigation plan to address predicted hazards.

Failing Infrastructure Identified as Major Problem

Scientists and engineers have stated that Central Valley and Southern California communities would experience a "domino effect" from failing infrastructure. We can also surmise that the same serial collapse of supply systems would hit the Bay Area equally hard. Water supplies would be cut off; travel interrupted; power, fuel and goods transport limited - thereby limiting other essential services for families, government, commerce and industry.

Key infrastructure at risk in the Bay area includes:
Roads - Highways - Marinas - Port facilities - Utility transmission lines - Water lines - Railroad lines - Sewage and water treatment plants
Other Bay-centered levee problems have emerged in the broader Delta levee discussions. South Bay levees, for example, protect a significant part of the Bay shoreline and southern Sonoma County levees protect a wide swatch of agricultural lands. Marin County and San Mateo County urban development in low lying areas is protected by levees (sometimes constructed of redwood).

Five Bay Area counties (Alameda, Napa, Solano, Contra Costs and Santa Clara) would be highly impacted by water supply interruptions and the Bay/Delta would sustain serious environmental damage from massive flooding

ABAG Initiates Funding Proposals to Protect Impacted Infrastructure with a Sustainability Emphasis

To make an emergency planning and action program possible, ABAG staff has proposed funding for emergency planning and environmentally sensitive implementation through the CalFed Delta Levee Integrity Program, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the lead. The proposal incorporates environmental protection strategies to ensure project success. These include sediment analyses, and a storm water management and watershed-based approach that emphasize how low-impact development and other measures upstream can help mitigate serious flooding hazards.

Some Factors Influencing Levee Stability
  • Earthquakes
  • Flooding
  • Inadequate engineering
  • Soils conditions
  • Storm surges
  • Burrowing
  • Inappropriate vegetation
  • Lack of emergency personnel and equipment
  • Lack of maintenance
  • Sea level rise/global warming

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