The CalFed Bay Delta Accord is an agreement signed in December 1994 under the Clinton administration in an attempt to work toward a resolution of water use within California. The accord was signed between state and federal agencies with management responsibilities over the delta.

For most of two decades, Californians have squabbled over waters from the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary, a web of waterways and islands linking the San Francisco Bay with the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers. Northerners accused the south of sucking the delta dry for lawns and swimming pools while southerners contended that a dependable supply of good quality water fuels business.

Farmers fought with cities, cities with environmentalists and environmentalists everybody over who was in the right. Meanwhile, the delta continued to suffer as saltwater crept deeper into the heart of the estuary and irrigation water was returned to the delta laden with pesticides and organics.

In the summer of 1994, the historic Bay-Delta Accord brought together environmental advocates, urban water users and farm interests to address deterioration of the Bay-Delta system. The Bay-Delta Accord included a firm resolve to find solutions by initiating a process known as CalFed. With over $1 billion in state and federal funds, and the cooperation of fifteen federal and state agencies, CalFed pledged to develop a long-term consensus solution. The framework CalFed agreement signed by all agencies has at its core three goals: develop water quality standards to protect the estuary, coordinate operations of the state and federal water projects, and develop a long-term solution for the delta.

Read more about the CalFed Bay Delta program.