California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Ecosystem Water Quality

What is Ecosystem Water Quality?

photo of hydraulic monitors operating at North Bloomfield mine, Malakoff Diggings, Nevada County, in the 1860ís.

Photo by United States Geological Survey

A major objective of the ERP is to improve the health of the Bay-Delta ecosystem by restoring and protecting habitats and native species.

Ecosystem water quality is an important facet of the overall ERP effort. The value of water is determined by its potential uses. In turn, the uses that can be made of water are determined by its quality. Water of degraded quality may not adequately support the aquatic ecosystem for several reasons: it may not contain sufficient oxygen; it may contain particles that suffocate bottom-dwelling organisms; it may be poisonous to aquatic organisms; or it may be unsuitable because of high salt concentrations or pathogens. Clearly, if the Bay-Delta ecosystem is to be restored, the quality of waters must be suitable for the ecological and human uses of the resource.

The purpose of the ecosystem water quality program is to create water quality conditions that fully support a healthy and diverse ecosystem and the multiplicity of human uses of water including environmental, agricultural, drinking, industrial, and recreational.

Water quality issues that have received supportive funding from the ERP may be accessed through the links below: