Aerial view of Sacramento River, California. Photo: JUPITERIMAGES / Getty Images

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is the hub of the California water system, providing water to 25 million people and 3 million acres of farmland. It is also a vitally important ecosystem that includes habitat for hundreds of species of wildlife.

California’s State Water Resources Control Board is charged with creating a plan to balance both society and ecosystem needs, known as the Bay-Delta Plan. To get there, it turned to SEI to help create a water model that can mimic one of the most complex water systems in the United States.

This fact sheet provides an overview of the resulting Sacramento Water Allocation Model, known as SacWAM. This WEAP-based hydrologic and system operations model not only shows how the Delta’s complex water system currently operates; it also shows the Delta’s unimpaired state, or how its water would flow if there were no dams, diversions or infrastructure.