Goal 3: Contribute to Social and Ecological Benefits from Water Management

Improve beneficial uses and reduce impacts associated with water management . 


  • Improve regional water movement operations and efficiency
  • Investigate new water technologies
  • Improve social and ecological benefits from water transfers
  • Reduce social and ecological impacts from water transfers


Indicators with this Goal

  • Relative abundance trend of key indicator species at different life stages (i.e. Delta smelt, Longfin smelt, juvenile striped bass, Chinook salmon, all salmonid populations).
  • Relative abundance trend of key non-native species, for example Brazilian waterweed (Egeria densa) and water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), and harmful invasive species such as Microcystis aeruginosa and other harmful algal blooms (HAB).
  • Equitable distribution of economic and health benefits from water management. Society expects that public trust resources like water are provided equitably. Although inequity may accrue when water is used in particular businesses, the original supply is expected to be managed and delivered in a way that provides equitable distribution of benefits.
  • Commercial fishing contributes to local communities' economies. Metrics or this activity includes number of individual vessels, number of trips, and total landings per fish species (weight per species and size class). Other important information includes economic and social activity indirectly triggered by fishing in coastal communities. <p> Focal species: nearshore rockfish, Dungeness crab, California halibut, and red sea urchin
  • Recreational fishing contributes to local communities' economies. Metrics or this activity includes number of individual vessels, number of trips, number of clients, and total landings per fish species (weight per species and size class). Other important information includes economic and social activity indirectly triggered by fishing in coastal communities. <p> Focal species: Rockfish, lingcod, and California halibut
  • Investment in agricultural improvement for water management and quality in Delta region.
  • Industrial production dependent on Delta water/region per year.
  • Subsistence fishing use in the Delta.
  • Percentage of state and regional water supplied by the Delta.
  • Trend in recreational use index in the Delta region.
  • Use of recycled water as a percent of total water used in the Delta region.
  • Amount of Delta water used by sector (urban, agriculture, municipal, industrial) per season and per year
  • Correlation between quality and quantity of available drinking water and household income. Equitable access to clean, plentiful drinking water is considered to be a human and cultural right. Ensuring that this basic right is met is a societal responsibility and helps us to understand equity.
  • Flow pattern variability / alteration (both important seasonally and annually). Ecosystems depend on natural flow patterns and variability. High flows are needed to move sediment and re-work riparian and floodplain areas.
  • Sufficient flows and timing of flows for maintaining historically-present native fish. Native fish, including anadromous species, need sufficient in-stream water to complete life-cycles, forage, disperse, seek thermal refuge, and escape predation.
  • California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool ("CalEnviroScreen") is intended to support assessments of the potential environmental pollution effects on communities, including disadvantaged communities, in order to support reduction in disparities and threats to health. The groundwater component of CalEnviroScreen provides a relative ranking of communities' groundwater condition and so should not be considered an absolute indication of health risk or cumulative effects.
  • An index of biotic community composition and structure, which respond to disturbance. This is a composite of several indicators of condition and can be applied using metrics for fish, algae, and benthic macroinvertebrates communities.
  • Job-equivalents per unit of water transferred from a source region (e.g., agricultural labor force). When water is transferred among regions, source regions may lose economic benefits from the “lost” water.
  • Land Subsidence can be the result of depletion of aquifers. Both the absolute amount and rate of subsidence are used.
  • Mercury in fish tissue is an important measure of water and sediment quality. for mercury to increase in concentration in fish tissue, it must be available in the environment (water and/or sediment) and methylated, usually by bacteria in hypoxic/anoxic conditions.
  • Ratio of observed to expected native fish species in a waterbody or watershed. Fish indicators have been widely used and recognized as important tools to evaluate watershed and stream ecosystem health.
  • Sufficient and adequate direction of flows for maintaining historically-present native fish. Native fish are often adapted to certain hydrologic regimes and may not tolerate modified flow patterns or quantities.
  • Number of people whose drinking water supply is potentially unhealthy. Whether or not water is unhealthy to drink will depend on the concentrations of specific contaminants as well as synergistic effects of multiple contaminants.
  • Number of acres protected or enhanced in aquifer recharge areas. Natural recharge of underground water reservoirs may be the most cost-effective way to store and manage water.
  • Naturally-occurring or artificial band of riparian vegetation along streams or rivers. This habitat type provides habitat for generalist and specialized species, protects banks against excessive erosion, provides woody material to streams, and shades streams, keeping them cool.
  • This is a biological index, composed of indicators & metrics representing the condition of the benthic invertebrate communities living in streams and rivers. The presence and abundance of aquatic plants and animals can provide an indication of waterway and landscape disturbance, geomorphic conditions, appropriate water availability, and water quality. Comparing the measured presence (observed) of native species or groups to the expected presence of these species or groups is one way of measuring watershed and waterway conditions.
  • Level of support or opposition for environmental measures, such as statewide bonds and local environmental regulation (% of population).
  • Trophic state index is a measure of how eutrophic conditions are in a water-body. Excess algal growth can indicate eutrophic conditions and is the basis of the index.
  • Increase measurable benefit in in-stream flows from water recycling and conservation. Re-using and conserving water has the desired outcome of directly benefiting aquatic ecosystems.
  • Equitability of benefit realization for local economies in water-source and water-receiving regions due to water transfer.
  • Fiscal cost and benefit for local economy in water-source region due to water transfer. Water source regions may lose economic benefits from actively (e.g., agriculture) or passively (e.g., aesthetic enjoyment) using water.
  • Distance traveled for units of drinking and irrigation water. The long-distance movement of water is one of the most energy-intensive activities in California and may cause social, economic, and environmental harm in the source areas.