The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta provides a third of Southern California's water supply to more than 25 million people, and it is in crisis. The largest estuary on the Pacific coast and the heart of California's water system, the delta has suffered a plummeting slide for almost a decade.
Litigation over delta ecosystem conditions led to federal court decisions to reduce water exports, and a serious, three-year drought made conditions for both the ecosystem and water supply even worse. The only way out of this downward spiral is to improve both the delta's environment and its water supply reliability.
I worked with other leaders in the California Legislature to craft a package of legislation that set a new course for California water policy, and especially for the delta. The 2009 Delta/Water Legislation addressed all of my "three C" priorities for water supply — conservation, capture and conveyance. We set high goals for urban water conservation — 20% by 2020 — and we set plans for developing the next generation of water capture and storage.