Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Reader 1

J. Emil Morhardt

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Jessica J. Mao


California has one highly-coveted possession: the Bay-Delta, which is the second largest estuary in the United States. Today, tensions are higher than ever as Southern California continues to grow and demand water from the Delta, agriculture suffers from drought and less-than-promised water allocations, and aquatic life diminishes due to environmentally damaging processes like pumping and exporting of water elsewhere. This paper will examine the historic policies that have shaped how the Delta has been managed, their successes and failures, and current plans in discussion for continuing improvement of the Delta. The Bay-Delta Conservation Plan and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act (HR 1837) are the specific current plans presented and analyzed for potential effectiveness. Despite some of the promising suggestions in HR 1837 and the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan, the Delta will remain a problem in the 21st century until stakeholders from all perspectives compromise enough to enact a single, clear-cut solution.