What Makes Delta Water Special?
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water is a mixture of fresh water from California’s two largest rivers descending from the east — the San Joaquin and the Sacramento — and salt water flowing in with the tides from the San Francisco Bay. During drier months, river flows lessen and the salinity of Delta waters increases. In the winter and early spring, river flows increase and push the salt water boundary further back toward the Bay. Overall, salt water levels vary throughout the Delta, with the greatest concentrations of salinity occurring in the west end of the Delta.
Fisheries, agriculture, and people within the region and throughout the state are dependent on the Delta’s fresh water supply. Although other factors affect Delta water quality, water management policies that help to maintain the Delta’s fresh water supply are of great environmental and economic importance to Californians.