Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of the Engineers, the San
Francisco Bay/Delta Model is a hydraulic model of San Francisco
Bay and the Delta and is housed in a converted World II-era
warehouse in Sausalito in Marin County.
Stretching 320-feet by 400-feet wide, the Bay Model
features a replica of the Bay Delta watershed from the Golden
Gate to the Sacramento-San Joaquin
Delta. Pumping systems move hundreds of gallons of water
throughout the display and create 14-minute tidal ebb and flow.
Flowing 366 miles from the Sierra
Nevada to Suisun Bay, the San Joaquin River provides irrigation
water to thousands of acres of San Joaquin Valley farms and
drinking water to some of the valley’s cities. It also is the
focal point for one of the nation’s most ambitious river
restoration projects to revive salmon populations.
Located in the middle of California, the San Joaquin Valley is
bracketed on both sides by mountain ranges. Long and flat, the
valley’s hot, dry summers are followed by cool, foggy winters
that make it one of the most productive agricultural regions in
The valley stretches from across mid-California between coastal
ranges in west and the Sierras on the east. The region includes
large cities such as Fresno and Bakersfield, national parks such
as Yosemite and Kings, millions of people, and fertile farmland.
Anne J. Schneider (1947-2010) is
acknowledged as one of the first women to become well-known and
well-respected in the field of California and Western water law.
“Anne was an amazing person — an accomplished college athlete,
mountain climber, skier, marathon runner, velodrome and
long-distance cyclist; a devoted mother; a dedicated
conservationist,” said Justice Ronald B. Robie in the Inaugural
Anne J. Schneider Memorial Lecture in May 2012.
Seawater intrusion can harm groundwater quality in a variety of
places, both coastal and inland, throughout California.
Along the coast, seawater intrusion into aquifers is connected to overdrafting of
groundwater. Additionally, in the interior, groundwater
pumping can draw up salty water from ancient seawater isolated in
In rural areas with widely dispersed houses, reliance upon a
sewer system is not practical compared to individual
wastewater treatment methods. These on-site management facilities
– or septic systems – are more commonplace given their simpler
structure, efficiency and easy maintenance.
Shasta Dam forms California’s
largest storage reservoir, Shasta Lake, which can hold about 4.5
As the keystone of the federal Central Valley Project,
Shasta stands among the world’s largest dams. Construction on the dam began in 1938
and was completed in 1945, with flood control as the highest
Sinkholes are caused by erosion of
rocks beneath soil’s surface. Groundwater dissolves soft
rocks such as gypsum, salt and limestone, leaving gaps in the
originally solid structure. This is exacerbated when water is
acidic from contact with carbon dioxide or acid rain. Even
humidity can play a major role in destabilizing water
Sites Reservoir is a potential new offstream reservoir that would
be located about 78 miles northwest of Sacramento in the
eastern foothills of the California Coast Range. It would harness
winter flood flows from the Sacramento River, divert the water
west and pump it into a deep, 14,000-acre reservoir formed in the
Antelope Valley. The valley now is used for cattle grazing.
Robert A. Skinner (1895-1986) was the Metropolitan Water District
of Southern California general manager from 1962-1967. An
engineer, he was instrumental in negotiating the district’s
contract with the California Department of Water Resources for
delivery of water from Northern California. Both Lake Skinner and
a treatment plant in southwestern Riverside County were named in