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.
The Contra Costa Canal provides water to the Contra Costa Water District, the largest urban contractor of the CVP. CCWD is also the owner and operator of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir, which is an off-stream storage reservoir that can supply stored water to the canal.
The 48-mile canal,was originally used to transport fresh water for farming but is now used almost entirely for municipal and industrial purposes.