Topic: Central Valley Project

Overview

Central Valley Project

Constructed long ago by federal effort to help create farmland, the Central Valley Project is one of the biggest water and transport systems in the entire world.

In years of normal precipitation, it stores and distributes about 20 percent of the state’s developed water through its massive system of reservoirs and canals.Water is transported 450 miles from Lake Shasta in Northern California to Bakersfield in the southern San Joaquin Valley. 

Along the way, the CVP encompasses 18 dams and reservoirs with a combined storage capacity of 11 million acre-feet, 11 power plants and three fish hatcheries. As part of this, the Delta Mendota Canal and Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River deliver water to farms in the Central Valley.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee/Los Banos Enterprise

West Side has full water supplies for first time since 2006

Full water deliveries have returned to the last of the West Side irrigation districts affected by federal water cutbacks in recent years. … The news came too late for some farmers, who have already planted based on the earlier projection of 65 percent for 2017.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Drought busted: Bureau of Reclamation boosts water allocation to 100 percent for west-side farmers

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is boosting the water allocation for farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to 100 percent for the first time since 2006. The announcement Tuesday comes only weeks after the bureau told disappointed growers that they would receive 65 percent of the contract supply from the Central Valley Project.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Despite Trump promise and a wet winter, California farmers don’t get full water supply

California farmers have a sympathetic president in the White House and have enjoyed one of the wettest winters on record. But those in a giant swath of the San Joaquin Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the country, are due to get only two-thirds of their water allotment this year from the federal government.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Can California repair damaged Delta reservoir within 45 days?

State officials said Wednesday that Californians reliant on water pumped out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta won’t face supply shortages, even as crews shut down a massive pumping station that serves much of Southern California for at least a month to make repairs to its intake reservoir.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California farms given good news as reservoirs fill and snowpack builds

Federal officials announced Tuesday that the 20 reservoirs that make up the Central Valley Project are so swollen with winter runoff that many growers will get all the water they requested this year — a remarkable change from the past few years when countless orchards and fields received no federal water at all.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘Normal’ never better at New Melones, the last major reservoir to recover from drought

Stubborn New Melones Lake finally decided to join the party. New Melones this week topped 100 percent of normal, the last of California’s major reservoirs to climb out of the deep drought hole.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Shasta Dam makes history as water flows from top gates for first time in 20 years

While California’s other major dam has been the focus of national attention, the Shasta Dam was making history itself this week.

Announcement

Enjoy Local Bounty on Our Central Valley Tour
Itinerary includes local restaurants and winery

Our tours are famous for not only being packed with diverse educational opportunities about California water, but showcasing local culture. Our Central Valley Tour on March 8-10 lets you unwind at a few San Joaquin Valley treasures and hear stories that go back generations.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

215 billion gallons of water has poured into Shasta Lake since Feb. 1

As a series of moisture-packed storms drench Northern California this year, Lake Shasta is seeing an impressive turnaround from near record lows. 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Folsom Lake is filling fast so flows on swollen American River have been ratcheted up

With heavy rain forecast for Thursday, room is being made in Folsom Lake by increasing flows into the American River.

Aquafornia news

River flows double Monday as wet weather sweeps through Sacramento

Water officials dramatically increased flows on the American and Sacramento rivers Monday to lessen the flooding risk ahead of big storms coming Monday and Tuesday night.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Storm, dam releases have rivers swelling

State and federal water managers ramped up water releases from Sacramento Valley dams Monday afternoon to make space for the water due to come from the storm that was expected to arrive overnight.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Water, water everywhere in California – and not enough reservoir space to store it

After five years of drought, could California really have so much rain and snow there’s no room to store all the water? … One month into an exceptionally stormy 2017, river flows though the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have been so powerful that the massive pumps that ship north-state water to Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley have roared at full throttle for weeks.

Announcement

Go Deep into California’s Breadbasket to Explore Water Issues
First Foundation tour of 2017 traverses the San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley has been hit hard by the six-year drought and related surface water cutbacks. Some land has been fallowed and groundwater pumping has increased. What does this year hold? Will these recent heavy storms provide enough surface water for improved water deliveries? 

Your best opportunity to see and understand this vital agricultural region of California is to join us on our annual Central Valley Tour, March 8-10.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: More water in California reservoirs, but drought persists

In its annual inventory of water in storage, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said the six key reservoirs owned by the federal government’s Central Valley Project held a combined 4.9 million acre-feet of water as of Oct. 1, the beginning of the “water year” that runs through next September.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Friant water contractors sue federal government for $350 million

Seventeen water districts in the San Joaquin Valley and the city of Fresno have filed a blockbuster claim for $350 million against the federal government for not delivering water to Friant Division contractors in the drought year of 2014.

Photo Credit: Jenn Bowles, Executive Director
Aquapedia background

Whiskeytown Lake

Whiskeytown Lake, a major reservoir in the foothills of the Klamath Mountains nine miles west of Redding, was built at the site of one of Shasta County’s first Gold Rush communities. Whiskeytown, originally called Whiskey Creek Diggings, was founded in 1849 and named in reference to a whiskey barrel rolling off a citizen’s pack mule; it may also refer to miners drinking a barrel per day. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Trout decline on Stanislaus raises concern

Ill-timed releases from New Melones Reservoir led to a 75 percent drop in rainbow trout on the lower Stanislaus River last year, according to two water purveyors that could have used some of the supply.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Lake Oroville dropping much faster than Shasta Lake this summer

State and federal reservoir levels have been dropping at dramatically different rates for the last couple of months, for reasons that figure into last week’s discussions about the twin tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: A predator fish in California has lost its White House support

A still-controversial 1992 law intended to boost California’s striped-bass population can be scaled back, the Obama administration now believes. … Another bill, by Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, to revise a water-recycling grant program established in the 1992 law likewise secured administration support Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

No Fed project water for some California farmers (with audio)

Federal officials say farmers in Northern California can expect to receive all of their requested water deliveries this year, while those to the south of the Delta will likely receive a fraction. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

San Joaquin Valley’s irrigation supplies range from near-normal to dismal

The 2016 irrigation season is rolling out on these warm April days with close-to-normal supplies in parts of the Northern San Joaquin Valley. In other parts, the drought of the past few years has not eased much, and farmers face another year of scraping by.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California water allocation has winners, losers

In the latest sign of California’s improving drought picture, federal officials announced Friday that South Bay cities will receive 55 percent of their contracted water amounts this summer — up from 25 percent last year — from the Central Valley Project, California’s largest water delivery system.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Many Central Valley farmers face severe water shortages despite easing drought (with video)

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, in an eagerly anticipated announcement, outlined the initial 2016 water allocations from the Central Valley Project, the federal government’s massive network of reservoirs, pumps and canals.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Feds to announce water allotment for some California farms

Federal officials will say how much water some California farmers can expect to receive this year in one of the nation’s most productive agricultural regions.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Why some reservoirs don’t fill as quickly

Years of drought followed by the recent pounding storms to hit the Bay Area and Northern California has turned water watching into a spectator sport.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Feds loosen up, offer 30 percent water allocation to San Joaquin Valley contractors

The drought is certainly not over, but the federal Bureau of Reclamation was optimistic enough to offer water suppliers in the Valley 30 percent of their contract allocations this year. And several water agency officials believe more could be coming as well.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

March rains prompt California to boost water project deliveries

Deliveries from the State Water Project are now forecast to be 45 percent of what was requested, still less than what’s supplied during most wet years but more than what’s been allocated since the first year of the drought. 

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

High water levels could lead to ‘interesting’ runoff season (with video)

Federal water managers warned Tuesday that northern California could be headed for an “interesting” runoff season following a series of late-season storms.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Shasta Lake reaches 108 percent of its historic average

As the weekend’s soakings dumped billions of gallons of water into Shasta Lake, California’s largest reservoir reached 79 percent capacity — and 108 percent of its historic average — on Monday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

As rain falls in California, tensions rise over who gets the water

Saying too much water is flowing out to sea, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Friday called on operators of the federal and state water projects to pump more water south through the Delta to drought-stricken farms and cities in Central and Southern California.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Failure of key water pipeline into Silicon Valley may have exposed wider problems

Like a car owner whose transmission unexpectedly breaks down and results in a huge bill, Silicon Valley’s largest water provider will have to spend at least $20 million to drain, test and repair a critical water pipeline that failed last summer and may have more hidden problems.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Some California farmers expect no federal water

The latest on the U.S. Bureau of Reclamations outlook for water supplies in 2016 for drought-stricken California (all times local):

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Feds — California reservoirs only half full after big storms

The recent onslaught of El Nino storms only slightly increased the levels of California reservoirs that now stand at half of historic depths for this time of year, federal officials said Friday while releasing an initial water outlook for 2016.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Environmentalists sue over Sacramento River water, fish perils

Escalating the fight over California’s diminished water supply, a coalition of environmental groups sued Central Valley farmers and the federal government over the possible extinction facing an endangered run of salmon.

Foundation Event

Dry, Wet or Average? The Challenges for Water Project Operations

Water year 2016 began with the potential for heavy El Niño rains that captured the attention of the public. State and federal officials knew that California’s drought-stricken reservoirs would not recover that quickly. 

Hydrologic conditions, precipitation patterns, the need for fishery flows, and forecasts of state and federal water project operations were all discussed at a special FREE briefing held February 23, 2016. Sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources and the Water Education Foundation, the briefing was held at the Sacramento Convention Center, Room 202.

Sacramento Convention Center
1400 J Street, Room 204
Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: In the drought-parched Central Valley, a waiting game begins

With October comes a waiting season. Californians have more or less survived one more dry year — with shower buckets and brown lawns, with ever deeper wells and fallowed croplands; in short, with every trick known to those who consume or manage water.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California’s federal reservoirs even lower than last year

In the latest indicator of the severity of the drought, the federal government’s main reservoirs serving California have begun the new “water year” at just a quarter full and in worse shape than last year.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Raising Shasta Dam too expensive for federal government

The federal government will not pay the nearly $1.3 billion to raise the height of Shasta Dam up to 18 1/2 feet, according to a report released Wednesday on the feasibility of the project. While the final feasibility report says raising the height of the dam would be feasible, it stops short of recommending approval because of cost and financing issues.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Aerial video reveals drought-ravaged lakes worse than imagined

Ugly brown rings where waves used to lap at the shore. … Barren boat ramps. Trickles of water.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Commentary: Water war of yore still resonates with New Melones protester

Mark DuBois did the impossible for five days in May 1979. With boats and helicopters combing the Stanislaus River canyon searching for him, the rising water of New Melones Reservoir practically lapping at his feet and chained to a rock in the canyon, DuBois hid beneath a small ledge to avoid detection and possible arrest.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Drought sends U.S. water agency back to drawing board

For most of the 1900s, the bureau’s [of Reclamation] system — which grew into the largest wholesale water utility in the country — worked. But the West of the 21st century is not the West of Roosevelt.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

In California’s drought, canal now flowing backward

The drought has become so severe that water is beginning to flow backward along a major artery in California’s increasingly distressed water delivery system.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Denham: Let local districts run New Melones

U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, wants the federal government to transfer ownership of New Melones Lake east of Stockton to local water districts. That’s the aim of one of two bills introduced by Denham on Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation provides updated Central Valley Project water supply information

The Bureau of Reclamation reports that, due to continued dry conditions, the initial 2015 water supply allocation released on February 27 for Central Valley Project agricultural contractors and municipal and industrial contractors remains unchanged.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Reservoirs still open despite drought

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Friday that most recreation facilities at New Melones Lake will be open this summer.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Supervisors weigh water purchase to meet needs during drought year

The Shasta County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider purchasing 250 acre-feet of water, about 81 million gallons, from the McConnell Foundation to feed the needs of four county-run water districts after projections in February showed unprecedented water allocation cutbacks from the Central Valley Project.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Water shortages a near certainty for this summer as feds announce low deliveries

In a clear indicator that California is descending into a fourth year of drought, the federal government on Friday announced that the Central Valley Project — California’s largest water delivery system — will provide no water again this year to most Central Valley farmers and only 25 percent of the contracted amount to urban areas such as Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Feds reduce water allocation for California (with audio)

The US Bureau of Reclamation says most farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will face a second year with no water from the Central Valley Project.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Some California farmers to go without federal water

The federal government said Friday it won’t send any of its reservoir water to the Central Valley for the second straight year, forcing farmers in California’s agricultural heartland to again scramble for other sources or leave fields unplanted.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Water withheld again

In a sign that the drought actually has worsened, federal officials on Friday announced an unprecedented second consecutive year with no water deliveries to many farms up and down the Central Valley.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Most Central Valley farmers unlikely to get federal water, again

In another blow to California’s parched heartland, federal officials said Friday that for the second year in a row most Central Valley farmers are unlikely to receive water from the region’s major irrigation project this summer.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Feds say many Central Valley farmers will get no water deliveries

Hundreds of farmers in the Central Valley were told Friday they can expect zero water deliveries this year from the federal government, the latest fallout from what is likely to be a fourth straight drought year in California. … The announcement does not affect all farms.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Second drought nightmare will become official after federal water forecast

We’re late in another desperately dry winter, waiting for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s February forecast of irrigation deliveries for this summer in the San Joaquin Valley. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

An encore of San Joaquin Valley drought crisis — only worse

The next train wreck in California’s drought is headed for the San Joaquin Valley this week when federal leaders forecast how much river water farmers can expect to irrigate nearly 3 million acres this summer.

Aquafornia news California Water Law Journal

Legal Commentary: Consolidated Salmonid Cases

In the Consolidated Salmonid Cases, the Eastern District Court of California reviewed a Biological Opinion (“BiOp”) issued in 2009 by the National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS”) that placed restrictions on the Projects’ [Central Valley Project and State Water Project] operations to protect endangered species.

Aquafornia news California Water Law Journal

Legal Commentary: Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases

In the Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases, two district court opinions for the Eastern District of California review a Biological Opinion (“BiOp”) issued in 2008 by the Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) that placed restrictions on the Projects’ [Central Valley Project and State Water Project] operations to protect endangered species.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Blog: New Melones an ‘absolute mess’

That’s how Jeff Shields, general manager of the South San Joaquin Irrigation District, described it to me the other day. The key reservoir east of Stockton is 23 percent full and 40 percent of normal.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Winter skips January: ‘This just keeps getting worse’

One look at the numbers says it all about California’s latest drought nightmare: The snowpack must grow seven times its current size in the next two months just to be average.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation releases Central Valley Project Integrated Resource Plan Final Report

The Bureau of Reclamation today [Jan. 27] released the final report on the Central Valley Project Integrated Resource Plan. Reclamation investigated climate change impacts on water supplies and demands in the CVP service area and performed an exploratory analysis of potential adaptation strategies to address these impacts.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Blog: Stockton’s New Melones water in jeopardy?

No surprise here, but the federal government is warning that the Stockton area might not receive all of its contracted water from New Melones Lake this year.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Dry January starts familiar feeling of dread among farm water leaders

Facing a fourth drought year and maybe the driest January on record, farm water leaders hope storms are on the way, but they saw a dry January last year and got no water from the federal Central Valley Project. … In late February, the bureau [of Reclamation] makes a forecast of summer water delivery.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: Bureau of Reclamation outlines Water Year 2015 Central Valley Project water supply conditions

In preparation for the initial 2015 water supply allocation announcement in late February, the Bureau of Reclamation provided an update today [Jan. 23] on water supply conditions for the federal Central Valley Project (CVP).

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

Bureau of Reclamation extends comment period for Draft EIS on CVP Municipal and Industrial Water Shortage Policy

The Bureau of Reclamation announced on Jan. 8 that the public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Central Valley Project Municipal and Industrial Water Shortage Policy which was set to end on Jan. 30 has been extended until March 13, 2015.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation releases final environmental documents on Safety of Dams modifications at Folsom Reservoir’s Dike 1

The Bureau of Reclamation has released the final environmental documents on a Safety of Dams project at Folsom Reservoir’s Dike 1 in the Granite Bay Recreation Area. The Dike 1 improvement modifications are being performed under Reclamation’s Safety of Dams Program to address water seepage through the Dike 1 embankment.

Aquafornia news The Santa Fe New Mexican

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: New Mexico experience to aid López at Bureau of Reclamation

Estevan López spent a dozen years managing water controversies in drought-prone New Mexico as director of the Interstate Stream Commission and the deputy state engineer. That training was about the best anyone could get for managing the nation’s largest water wholesaler, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, said his longtime colleague, former state engineer John D’Antonio.

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of the Interior

News Release: Secretary Jewell statement on Senate confirmation of Estevan López as commissioner of Reclamation

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today [Dec. 17] released the following statement after the U.S. Senate confirmed Estevan R. López to serve as Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. … “…  With decades of public service to the people of New Mexico, water management expertise, and an ability to bring together diverse stakeholders from across the spectrum, he is well suited to the challenges of being Commissioner in the 21st century. …” Before López, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor served as Reclamation Commissioner.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Estevan López confirmed as 22nd commissioner for Bureau of Reclamation

The United States Senate has confirmed President Obama’s selection for Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. Having served as Principal Deputy Commissioner since October 8, 2014, with all of the responsibilities of Commissioner, Estevan López will now carry the title and formally take the helm of the 5500 person agency that manages water and generates power in the western United States.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation releases final environmental documents for three projects to protect endangered species

The Bureau of Reclamation today [Nov. 3] released the Final Environmental Assessments and Findings of No Significant Impact for three projects funded by the Central Valley Project Conservation Program and the Central Valley Project Improvement Act Habitat Restoration Program.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation announces biological opinions 2014 Annual Science Review and Workshop for Long-term Operation of CVP/SWP

The Bureau of Reclamation and the Delta Science Program, in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Department of Water Resources, have scheduled an annual science review and workshop on certain biological opinion implementation actions relative to the 2014 operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. The 2014 annual science review will be the fifth annual review.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Bureau of Reclamation: New Melones hasn’t been so low in decades

The drought is causing low water levels at New Melones Lake. “We are about 20 percent of our capacity,” park manager Alex Michalek said Monday. … The Bureau of Reclamation said the lake has not been this low in the past two decades.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Drought, disease wait in San Joaquin Valley for migratory birds

Great horned owls hang out at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge. … But this year, predators may be the least of the worries for these birds. Starvation, avian cholera and botulism may be bigger killers than usual. It’s another dark twist from California’s destructive drought.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: Breaking down the numbers on that Temperance Flat Reservoir plan

Readers asked a very good question last week about the proposed $2.6 billion reservoir project that would more than double the capacity of Millerton Lake.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Amid California’s drought, a bruising battle for cheap water

The signs appear about 200 miles north of Los Angeles, tacked onto old farm wagons parked along quiet two-lane roads and bustling Interstate 5. “Congress Created Dust Bowl.” “Stop the Politicians’ Water Crisis.” “No Water No Jobs.”

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Meeting Tuesday in Chico will give overview of 10-year plan for water transfers

Next week [Tuesday, Oct. 21] the Bureau of Reclamation will be in Chico, asking folks to give feedback on an assessment of water transfers from the Sacramento Valley over 10 years.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Temperance Dam plan is flawed, critics say at Fresno forum

About 100 people listened at a public meeting in Fresno to sometimes passionate statements from speakers who faulted everything from the feasibility analysis to the notification for the hearing on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for Temperance Flat Reservoir.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Central Valley Project begins Water Year 2015 with 3.1 million acre-feet of storage

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project began water year 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2015) with 3.1 million acre-feet of water in six key CVP reservoirs (Shasta, Trinity, Folsom, New Melones, and Millerton reservoirs and the federal share of the joint federal/state San Luis Reservoir). This is less than half of the 15-year average annual carryover of 6.4 million acre-feet and about 2 million acre-feet less than the amount with which the region started WY 2014.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Reservoirs at 19-year low

We’ve all had those years when we couldn’t wait to flip the calendar to January, put our troubles behind us and get a fresh start. That’s how California water managers must feel today.

Publication Sue McClurg

Water & the Shaping of California
Published 2000 - Paperback

The story of water is the story of California. And no book tells that story better than Water & the Shaping of California.

Publication Sue McClurg

Water & the Shaping of California
Published 2000 - hardbound

The story of California is the story of water. And no book tells that story better than Water & the Shaping of California.

Video

A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.

Video

Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley

Salt. In a small amount, it’s a gift from nature. But any doctor will tell you, if you take in too much salt, you’ll start to have health problems. The same negative effect is happening to land in the Central Valley. The problem scientists call “salinity” poses a growing threat to our food supply, our drinking water quality and our way of life. The problem of salt buildup and potential – but costly – solutions are highlighted in this 2008 public television documentary narrated by comedian Paul Rodriguez.

Video

Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley (20-minute DVD)

A 20-minute version of the 2008 public television documentary Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the problem of salt build up in the Central Valley potential – but costly – solutions. Narrated by comedian Paul Rodriquez.

Video

Delta Warning

15-minute DVD that graphically portrays the potential disaster should a major earthquake hit the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. “Delta Warning” depicts what would happen in the event of an earthquake registering 6.5 on the Richter scale: 30 levee breaks, 16 flooded islands and a 300 billion gallon intrusion of salt water from the Bay – the “big gulp” – which would shut down the State Water Project and Central Valley Project pumping plants.

Video

Shaping of the West: 100 Years of Reclamation

30-minute DVD that traces the history of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and its role in the development of the West. Includes extensive historic footage of farming and the construction of dams and other water projects, and discusses historic and modern day issues.

Video

Water on the Edge (30-minute VHS)

A 30-minute version of the 2005 PBS documentary Water on the Edge. This video is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the New River.

Video

Water on the Edge (60-minute VHS)

Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there have been some critical events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.

Video

Water on the Edge (60-minute DVD)

Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there have been some critical events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.

Maps & Posters

San Joaquin River Restoration Map
Published 2012

This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, features a map of the San Joaquin River. The map text focuses on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, which aims to restore flows and populations of Chinook salmon to the river below Friant Dam to its confluence with the Merced River. The text discusses the history of the program, its goals and ongoing challenges with implementation. 

Maps & Posters

Delta Sustainability Map
Published 2006

This beautifully illustrated 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing and display in any office or classroom, focuses on the theme of Delta sustainability.

The text, photos and graphics explain issues related to land subsidence, levees and flooding, urbanization and fish and wildlife protection. An inset map illustrates the tidal action that increases the salinity of the Delta’s waterways. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the California Bay-Delta Authority.

Maps & Posters

Water Cycle Poster

Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants, rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation. Excellent for elementary school classroom use.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law
Updated 2013

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law, recognized as the most thorough explanation of California water rights law available to non-lawyers, traces the authority for water flowing in a stream or reservoir, from a faucet or into an irrigation ditch through the complex web of California water rights.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Water Marketing
Updated 2005

The 20-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Marketing provides background information on water rights, types of transfers and critical policy issues surrounding this topic. First published in 1996, the 2000 version offers expanded information on groundwater banking and conjunctive use …  Colorado River transfers, CALFED’s Water Transfer Program and the role of private companies in California’s developing water market. 

Order in bulk (10 or more copies of the same guide) for a reduced fee. Contact the Foundation, 916-444-6240, for details.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Flood Management
Updated 2009

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Flood Management explains the physical flood control system, including levees; discusses previous flood events (including the 1997 flooding); explores issues of floodplain management and development; provides an overview of flood forecasting; and outlines ongoing flood control projects. 

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Updated 2015

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project
Updated 2011

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project explores the history and development of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), California’s largest surface water delivery system. In addition to the history of the project, the guide describes the various CVP facilities, CVP operations, the benefits the CVP brought to the state, and the CVP Improvement Act (CVPIA).

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Agricultural Drainage
Updated 2001

With irrigation projects that import water, farmers have transformed millions of acres of land into highly productive fields and orchards. But the dry climate that provides an almost year-round farming season can hasten salt build up in soils. The build-up of salts in poorly drained soils can decrease crop productivity, and there are links between drainage water from irrigated fields and harmful impacts on fish and wildlife.

Tour

Central Valley Tour 2014
Field Trip

This 3-day, 2-night tour travels the length of the San Joaquin Valley, giving participants a clear understanding of the State Water Project and Central Valley Project. Stops include the Kern County Water Bank, the San Joaquin River, Terminus Dam, Mendota Pool, Friant Dam, San Luis National Wildlife Refuge and San Luis Reservoir.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Delta
Updated 2010

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Delta explores the competing uses and demands on California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Included in the guide are sections on the history of the Delta, its role in the state’s water system, and its many complex and competing issues with sections on water quality, levees, salinity and agricultural drainage, and water distribution.

Maps & Posters

California Water Map
Updated December 2016

A new look for our most popular product! And it’s the perfect gift for the water wonk in your life.

Our 24×36 inch California Water Map is widely known for being the definitive poster that shows the integral role water plays in the state. On this updated version it is easier to see California’s natural waterways and manmade reservoirs and aqueducts - including federally, state and locally funded projects - the wild and scenic rivers system, and natural lakes. The map features beautiful photos of California’s natural environment, rivers, water projects, wildlife, and urban and agricultural uses and the text focuses on key issues: water supply, water use, water projects, the Delta, wild and scenic rivers and the Colorado River.

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San Felipe Division

California’s central coast is home to the San Felipe Division of the federal Central Valley Project. Authorized in the 1960s and completed in 1988, San Felipe Division includes a 5.3-mile-long tunnel (the Pacheco Tunnel), pumping plant and other conduits.

It transports water west from the Central Valley’s San Luis Reservoir near Los Banos to supply Santa Clara and the high-tech Santa Clara Valley as well as parts of Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties.

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Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project and Diversion Dam

The Red Bluff Diversion Dam, its gates now raised, spans the Sacramento River two miles southeast of Red Bluff  and diverted water into the Tehama-Colusa and Corning canals to irrigate the west side of the Sacramento Valley.

Completed in 1964 as part of the federal Central Valley Project, the 52-foot-high dam included fish ladders and fish counting structures at each end to allow fish migrating upstream.

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Nimbus Dam

A part of the federal Central Valley Project, the Nimbus Dam and its after bay, Lake Natoma, are located 7 miles downstream of Folsom Dam on the American River.

The dam regulates American River flows. Other associated facilities are the Nimbus Powerplant, the Nimbus Salmon and Steelhead Hatchery and the Folsom South Canal. [see also Northern California Water Tours.]

Delta-Mendota Canal
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Delta-Mendota Canal

The117-mile long Delta-Mendota Canal in central California delivers water from the distant Sacramento River to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It is part of the Central Valley Project.

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Contra Costa Canal

Construction began in 1937 to build the Contra Costa Canal, the first part of the federal Central Valley Project.  The Contra Costa Canal runs from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where it draws its water near Knightsen, to the eastern and central parts of Contra Costa County. It is about 30 miles from San Francisco.

Central Valley Project Improvement Act
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Central Valley Project Improvement Act

The Central Valley Project Improvement Act supports a major federal effort to store and transport water in California’s Central Valley.

The 1992 Act changed operations of Central Valley Project; a major project that addresses flooding, storage and irrigation issues in the valley [see also Central Valley Project].

Central Valley Project
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Central Valley Project

Birthed in part by a long-ago federal effort to create farmland, today the Central Valley Project is one of the largest water and transport systems in the world. In years of normal precipitation, it stores and distributes about 20 percent of the state’s developed water through its massive system of reservoirs and canals.

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C.W. Bill Jones Pumping Plant

The C.W. Bill Jones Pumping Plant (formerly known as the Tracy Pumping Plant) sits at the head of the 117-mile long Delta-Mendota Canal.

Completed in 1951, the canal begins near Tracy, Calif. and follows the Coast Range south, providing irrigation water to the west side of the San Joaquin Valley along its route and terminating at Mendota Pool.

Western Water Magazine

Meeting the Co-equal Goals? The Bay Delta Conservation Plan
May/June 2013

This issue of Western Water looks at the BDCP and the Coalition to Support Delta Projects, issues that are aimed at improving the health and safety of the Delta while solidifying California’s long-term water supply reliability.

Western Water Magazine

Viewing Water with a Wide Angle Lens: A Roundtable Discussion
January/February 2013

This printed issue of Western Water features a roundtable discussion with Anthony Saracino, a water resources consultant; Martha Davis, executive manager of policy development with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency and senior policy advisor to the Delta Stewardship Council; Stuart Leavenworth, editorial page editor of The Sacramento Bee and Ellen Hanak, co-director of research and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.

Western Water Magazine

How Much Water Does the Delta Need?
July/August 2012

This printed issue of Western Water examines the issues associated with the State Water Board’s proposed revision of the water quality Bay-Delta Plan, most notably the question of whether additional flows are needed for the system, and how they might be provided.

Western Water Magazine

Whose Water Is It? Area of Origin Water Rights
March/April 2010

This printed issue of Western Water examines the area of origin laws, what they mean to those who claim their protections and the possible implications of the Tehama Colusa Canal Authority’s lawsuit against the Bureau of Reclamation.

Western Water Magazine

Delta Conveyance: The Debate Continues
March/April 2009

This printed issue of Western Water provides an overview of the idea of a dual conveyance facility, including questions surrounding its cost, operation and governance

Western Water Magazine

Making a Future for Fish: Preserving and Restoring Native Salmon and Trout
January/February 2009

This printed copy of Western Water examines the native salmon and trout dilemma – the extent of the crisis, its potential impact on water deliveries and the lengths to which combined efforts can help restore threatened and endangered species.

Western Water Magazine

Dealing with the ‘D’ Word: The Response to Drought
November/December 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines California’s drought – its impact on water users in the urban and agricultural sector and the steps being taken to prepare for another dry year should it arrive.

Western Water Magazine

Shaping the West: 100 Years of Reclamation Water
May/June 2002

The Reclamation Act of 1902, which could arguably be described as a progression of the credo, Manifest Destiny, transformed the West. This issue of Western Water provides a glimpse of the past 100 years of the Reclamation Act, from the early visionaries who sought to turn the arid West into productive farmland, to the modern day task of providing a limited amount of water to homes, farms and the environment. Included are discussions of various Bureau projects and what the next century may bring in terms of challenges and success.

Commands