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Planning for an Integrated, Resilient Future

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Yolo Bypass Cache Slough Partnership

Yolo Bypass Cache Slough Partnership

The Yolo Bypass is a 40-mile long, 59,000 acre federal flood management facility, built in the 1930s to protect lives and property across the Sacramento metropolitan area.

The Cache Slough is located primarily within the County of Solano, intersecting with the southern portion of the Yolo Bypass. Cache Slough supports remnant tidal habitat where restoration of natural conditions could benefit delta smelt and other native aquatic species. Cache slough is also a regionally significant agricultural area where the location of multiple-benefit projects could affect the operations and maintenance practices of agricultural diverters and core flood control and levee maintenance responsibilities of reclamation districts within the Cache Slough Complex.

Together, the Yolo Bypass and Cache Slough region presents unparalleled opportunities for multiple-benefit projects that improve flood protection, fisheries and wildlife habitat, water supply and water quality, agricultural sustainability, and recreational opportunities. As such, the Yolo Bypass and Cache Slough region is the focus of an increasing number of federal, state, and locally developed projects intended to improve these multiple public values. 

Today, the Yolo Bypass Cache Slough region is a microcosm of challenges and opportunities facing water managers and planners around California. The Yolo Bypass Cache Slough Partnership (YBCS) is a dynamic and results-focused response to those challenges. Flood risk management, fisheries and wildlife habitat, water supply, water quality, agricultural land preservation, and recreation are all part of collaborative planning for a vibrant future for the region’s residents, businesses, and ecosystem.

Vision

Vision

Local, state, and federal agencies, regional organizations, Native American Tribes, and other interested parties jointly prioritizing and overcoming obstacles to implementing projects capable of delivering multiple benefits across a shared YBCS landscape.

Partnership Goals

Since 2016, the Partner agencies have been developing a program that encourages collaboration on regional solutions to implement landscape-level changes across its six pillars: flood, habitat, recreation, agriculture, water supply, and water quality.

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Flood

Expand the flood conveyance capacity of the YBCS System, to include investments in local communities’ measures to meet existing and future flood risk management standards.
Establish a more predictable regulatory and funding framework to enable effective, affordable, and sustainable operations and maintenance of a flood risk management system that accommodates other Partnership goals.
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Agriculture

Actively engage agricultural and land use agencies in the full lifecycle of projects.
Use good neighbor policies and incorporate measures that promote agricultural sustainability into project planning and implementation.
Establish regulatory protection for existing agricultural irrigation diversions.
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Habitat

Improve habitat quality and quantity to achieve multiple benefits for ecosystems.
Align ecological improvements and environmental sustainability with existing and future land uses.
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Water Supply

Preserve continued access to cost effective and resilient water supplies in the YBCS for local agriculture and regional municipal users.
Pursue a multi-benefit solution that improves the regional water supply resilience and facilities such as the North Bay Aqueduct and also protects and enhances investments in fisheries and habitat resources.
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Recreation

Foster multi-benefit projects that include regional recreational opportunities.
Provide outdoor education, outreach, and access to the nearly 16,000-acre Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area.
Support tourism opportunities including the Great California Delta Trail.
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Water Quality

Minimize discharge and production of toxic contaminants into the YBCS, starting with methylmercury.
Improve drinking water quality by reducing the impacts of increased organic carbon and bromide in Cache Slough source water and submerged aquatic vegetation near drinking water intakes in the Cache Slough Complex.

Understanding the Importance of the YBCS Region

Yolo Bypass conveys 80% of Sacramento River watershed flows during floods, reducing risk to $68 billion in property and 650,000 people in the Sacramento Metropolitan area.
Agricultural land within and protected by the Yolo Bypass supports the local and state economy, provides wildlife habitat, and functions as part of the flood protection system. Approximately 268,000 acres of productive farmland in Solano, Yolo, and Sacramento Counties, approximately 47,000 acres of that within the YBCS, contribute to California’s economic engine.
The Delta region, a designated ecosystem of national importance which includes most of YBCS, provides critical habitat for millions of waterfowl and supports a range of terrestrial and aquatic species, including those that are listed as endangered or threatened.
Numerous habitat restoration projects in the YBCS mitigate for the continued operation of the State Water and Central Valley Projects, which provide drinking water to 25 million Californians and irrigation to 4.5 million acres of agricultural land. The North Bay Aqueduct, a decentralized component of the State Water Project, delivers drinking water from Cache Slough to over 500,000 residents in Napa and Solano Counties.
Efforts on Cache Creek, a tributary to the YBCS, represent an opportunity to reduce mercury inputs to the Bay Delta system.
The YBCS provides local and regional recreation and tourism opportunities, including the Great California Delta Trail, sport fishing, hunting, wine tasting, boating, and exploring the nearly 16,000-acre Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, which also provides unique environmental education programs.

Centered between the Sacramento and American Rivers and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the YBCS is the heart of a vast watershed – and central to a robust regional agricultural economy, reliable water supply, and resilient ecosystem, in addition to flood risk reduction.

Partners

In recognition of the advantages of an integrated approach, a new era of multi-benefit collaborative planning began when local, state and federal agency representatives executed the YBCS Memorandum of Understanding.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
California Department of Water Resources
California Natural Resources Agency
Central Valley Flood Protection Board
Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board
County of Solano
County of Yolo
Reclamation District No. 2068
Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency
Solano County Water Agency
State Water Resources Control Board
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service
(West Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency)