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The California Delta is considered by many to be one of the world’s great estuaries, providing water to most Californians and supporting hundreds of plant and animal species. But for decades, it has also been the place where grand plans and compromise go to die, thanks to its many conflicting interests and overlapping jurisdictions. The latest proposal for restoring the Delta, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan—which is supposed to provide the state with a more reliable water supply while protecting and improving the delta ecosystem—faces political opposition and legal challenges that at best could delay it for years. Is the Delta doomed to decline? Or is there a way to restore habitats, fix levees, and guarantee water supply all at once? Delta Conservancy Executive Officer Campbell Ingram, Santa Clara Valley Water District Deputy Operating Officer for Water Supply Joan Maher, Public Policy Institute of California Co-Director of Research Ellen Hanak, and Delta farmer Russell van Loben Sels visit Zócalo to discuss whether the Delta can survive and even thrive.
*Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Robert Galbraith.