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.
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.
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 issues
with sections on water quality, levees, salinity and agricultural
drainage, fish and wildlife, and water distribution.
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 man-made 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
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.
The Red Bluff Diversion Dam, its gates raised since 2011 to allow
fish passage, spans the Sacramento River two miles
southeast of Red Bluff on the Sacramento River in Tehama County.
It is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and operated and
maintained by the Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority.
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.]
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.