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California's San Francisco Bay/Sacramento San Joaquin Delta Estuary (the Bay-Delta) has endured years of competing economic and ecological demands for water resources required by multiple interests. The result has been water quality degradation and reduced supply reliability, declining fish and wildlife habitat, increasing numbers of listed threatened and endangered species, and compromised flood control.

In 1995, CALFED, a cooperative program of state and federal agencies, was established to develop a plan to reduce conflicts in the system through integrated management of the Bay- Delta. The CALFED program mission is to develop and implement a long-term plan to restore ecological health and improve water management for beneficial uses of the Bay-Delta system. On August 28 2000, state and federal agency members of CALFED formally approved a long-term plan for restoring ecological health and developing sustainable water management for the Bay-Delta.

The path forward for the CALFED effort has been and continues to be contingent on agency and stakeholder consensus on the mission, objectives, and solution principles developed to guide the program. These elements provide consistent direction for competing environmental, political, and institutional influences throughout the development and now the implementation of the plan. This paper provides an overview of the framework of the CALFED Program Plan developed consistent with the mission, objectives, and solution principles; and reports on the first year of CALFED's implementation.

The CALFED Program and its implementation are multifaceted and dynamic, resulting in continual refinement to better achieve the CALFED mission. The paper addresses only the framework, assumptions, and a brief review of the implementation progress of CALFED. For access to updated information on the status of the program and detailed discussion of all Program components, please visit

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-01-01

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