1978 - State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) adopts water-quality standards for Delta. Fish and Wildlife Service says standards ensure that fish and wildlife be maintained at a ``degraded level'' resulting from effects of water development.
1980 - Environmental Protection Agency approves standards but specifies conditions to ensure they will achieve promised levels of protection.
1981 - EPA registers concern about decline of Delta fishery and urges SWRCB to conduct ``a thorough reevaluation of the adequacy of the Delta plan to protect the Delta fishery.''
1985 - EPA shows concern that standards don't attain promised protection. SWRCB says: ``Current standards are not adequate to protect the fishery resource.''
1986 - State Court of Appeal in San Francisco criticizes standards and affirms SWRCB's obligation to protect fish and wildlife in Bay Delta estuary.
1987 - EPA says it can't approve Delta fishery standards because they ``do not adequately protect the fishery resource.'' SWRCB holds public hearings to collect evidence on standards. Testimony includes evidence that Delta smelt populations are in serious decline and remedial action is needed.
1988 - Striped Bass Index plummets from 3 million to 5 million young striped bass in Delta to 300,000 to 500,000. SWRCB issues draft water-quality control plan calling for more increases in Delta outflow and reductions in Delta pumping to protect Delta fisheries.
1989 - SWRCB withdraws plan in face of opposition from water-development interests. California State Water Project pumps record amounts of water from Delta in third year of drought.
1990 - State agricultural cash receipts reach record high of $19 billion.
1991 - SWRCB adopts water-quality control plan that ignores need for critical flow and salinity protections. EPA disapproves of plan. Only 191 winter-run chinook salmon return to spawn, compared with 118,000 in 1969.
1992 - Gov. Pete Wilson (R) asks SWRCB to set ``interim'' standards as ``first step'' towards restoring Delta. SWRCB releases Draft Water-Right Decision 1630 for restrictions on Delta pumping, a mitigation fund, and other measures to improve protection for Delta fish and wildlife.
1993 - Governor Wilson requests SWRCB to withdraw proposed interim standards. Faced with lawsuit from 16 environmental agencies for not complying with Clean Water Act, EPA announces standards for water salinity in Delta. Ninety-day public-comment period is expected to end by early April.