Topic: State Water Project

State Water Project
Overview

State Water Project

The State Water Project (SWP) is responsible for bringing drinking water to 25 million people and provides irrigation for 750,000 acres of farmland. Without it California would never have become the economic powerhouse it is today.

The nation’s largest state-built water and power development and conveyance system, the SWP diverts water from the Feather River to the Central Valley, South Bay Area and Southern California. Its key feature is the 444-mile long California Aqueduct that can be viewed from Interstate 5.

The SWP has required the construction of 21 dams and more than 700 miles canals, pipelines and tunnels. To reach Southern California, the water must be pumped 2,000 feet over the Tehachapi Mountains; it’s the highest water lift in the world.

Today, about 30 percent of SWP water is used for irrigation, mostly in the San Joaquin Valley, and about 70 percent is used for residential, municipal and industrial use, mainly in Southern California but also in the Bay Area. The SWP was built and is operated by the California Department of Water Resources.

To watch a slideshow about the SWP, click here.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Yuba City likes state water allocation

California public agencies requested 4.1 million acre-feet of state water for 2015. For now, they’ll get 90 percent less. … Yuba City is the only local agency with a share of State Project Water.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

State projects 10% of full water deliveries

State officials announced Monday that with the drought persisting, water agencies can expect only 10 percent of their full allotted amounts of water next year through the canals and pipelines of the State Water Project.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: State Water Project expects scant deliveries next year

The State Water Project, which carries runoff from the mountains of Northern California to much of the state, expects to limit annual water deliveries to 10 percent of what is requested in the coming year due to the prolonged drought.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: State Water Project contract negotiations set to begin over proposed BDCP amendments

From the Department of Water Resources: The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced today [Nov. 24] it will begin negotiations with State Water Project (SWP) Contractors in December on proposed amendments that would modify SWP water supply contracts.

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 The Sacramento Bee

Jerry Brown takes the long view on water

Battles over water rights, wet years flowing into dry ones, Jerry Brown gubernatorial tenures – in California, some storylines recur.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Lake Oroville inches closer to record low

Only time and nature will determine whether Lake Oroville will continue its steady drop or begin to climb back. On Monday, the lake was at a low water elevation of 670 feet. Capacity is 900 feet.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Lake Perris Dam retrofit to close Big Rock

A popular rock climbing area and other recreational facilities on the southeast side of Lake Perris will be closed for three years starting this week so that seismic work can begin on the dam, state officials said.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Castaic Lake so low that fisherman finds agent’s gun lost 22 years ago

California’s lingering drought has lowered the water level in Castaic Lake so dramatically that authorities said a fisherman on Thursday recovered a badge and handgun that a federal agent lost in the lake nearly 22 years ago.

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.

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

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

Overcoming the Deluge: California’s Plan for Managing Floods (DVD)

This 30-minute documentary, produced in 2011, explores the past, present and future of flood management in California’s Central Valley. It features stories from residents who have experienced the devastating effects of a California flood firsthand. Interviews with long-time Central Valley water experts from California Department of Water Resources (FloodSAFE), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Central Valley Flood Management Program and environmental groups are featured as they discuss current efforts to improve the state’s 150-year old flood protection system and develop a sustainable, integrated, holistic flood management plan for the Central Valley.

Video

Restoring a River: Voices of the San Joaquin

This 30-minute documentary-style DVD on the history and current state of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program includes an overview of the geography and history of the river, historical and current water delivery and uses, the genesis and timeline of the 1988 lawsuit, how the settlement was reached and what was agreed to.

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

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

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

Carson River Basin Map
Published 2006

A companion to the Truckee River Basin Map poster, this 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, explores the Carson River, and its link to the Truckee River. The map includes Lahontan Dam and Reservoir, the Carson Sink, and the farming areas in the basin. Map text discusses the region’s hydrology and geography, the Newlands Project, land and water use within the basin and wetlands. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region, Lahontan Basin Area Office.

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 the State Water Project
Updated 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project provides an overview of the California-funded and constructed State Water Project.

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 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 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 River.

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West Branch Aqueduct

The West Branch Aqueduct supplies water for Los Angeles and other Southern California cities.

The West Branch is one of two State Water Project aqueducts serving Southern California.

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State Water Project

State Water Project

The State Water Project is an aquatic lifeline for California because of its vital role in bringing water to cities and farms. Without it, California would never have developed into the economic powerhouse it is.

The State Water Project diverts water from the Feather River to the Central Valley, South Bay Area and Southern California. Its key feature is the 444-mile long California Aqueduct that can be viewed from Interstate 5.

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South Bay Aqueduct

The South Bay Aqueduct, the first conveyance facility built for the State Water Project, supplies water to Alameda and Santa Clara counties.

To do so, the South Bay Aqueduct relies on 40 miles of pipes and canals to transport the water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

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Skinner Fish Facility

The John E. Skinner Delta Fish Protective Facility east of San Francisco Bay is a State Water Project facility that works to protect fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

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Oroville Dam

Oroville Dam is the centerpiece of the State Water Project and its largest water storage facility.

Located about 70 miles north of Sacramento at the confluence of the three forks of the Feather River, Oroville Dam is an earthfill dam (consisting of an impervious core surrounded by sands, gravels, and rockfill materials) that creates a reservoir that can hold 3.5 million acre-feet of water.

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Monterey Amendment

The Monterey Amendment, a 1994 pact between Department of Water Resources and State Water Project contractors, helped ease environmental stresses on the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta.

As part of large-scale restructuring of water supply contracts, the Monterey Amendment allowed for storage of excess flows during wet years in groundwater banks and surface storage reservoir. This stored water could then be used later during dry periods or to help the Delta.

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Lake Perris

The State Water Project facility Lake Perris, below the San Bernardino Mountains, stores water for Inland Empire cities such as San Bernardino and Riverside. [See also Santa Ana River.]

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Hydroelectric Projects in California

 Hydroelectric Projects in California

Hydroelectric Power and the State Water Project

In California, the State Water Project provides water for 25 million Californians and irrigation water for an estimated 750,000 acres of farmland. Along the way, it supports industries from agriculture to high tech that make the state a global economic powerhouse.

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Edmund G. “Pat” Brown

Edmund G. “Pat” Brown (1905-1996) was California’s governor from 1959-1967, exemplified the best in public service and left a wide-ranging legacy that featured first and foremost the State Water Project (SWP) and California Aqueduct but also included the Fair Housing Act, the Fair Employment Act, the Master Plan for Higher Education and highway expansion.

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East Branch Aqueduct

One of two State Water Project aqueducts serving Southern California, the East Branch Aqueduct stores water in Silverwood Lake and Lake Perris.

After being pumped over the Tehachapi Mountains from the Edmonston Pumping Plant, water for the East Branch Aqueduct passes through Palmdale and Lancaster [see also West Branch Aqueduct]. The water is then stored for distribution to Inland Empire cities such as San Bernardino and Riverside.

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Delta Pumping Plant Fish Protection Agreement

The Delta Pumping Plant Fish Protection Agreement stems from an early effort to balance the needs of fish protection and State Water Project operations.  Negotiated in the mid-1980s, the agreement foreshadowed future battles over fish protection and pumping. [See also Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.]

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Clifton Court Forebay and Banks Pumping Plant

The Clifton Court Forebay is a key part of the State Water Project (SWP) and serves as ground zero for the starting point of the California Aqueduct (which delivers water to Southern California). Clifton Court also recharges water in the San Joaquin Valley via the Delta-Mendota Canal.

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California Aqueduct

The California Aqueduct, a critical part of the State Water Project, carries water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Deltato the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

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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.

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A.D. Edmonston Pumping Plant

The world’s largest water lift, the Edmonston Pumping Plant is a State Water Project facility. The pumping plant plays a vital role in Southern California’s economy by supplying the semi-arid region with badly needed water.

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

Making the Connection: The Water/Energy Nexus
September/October 2010

This printed issue of Western Water looks at the energy requirements associated with water use and the means by which state and local agencies are working to increase their knowledge and improve the management of both resources.

Western Water Magazine

A ‘New Direction’ for Water Decisions? The California Water Plan
May/June 2010

This printed issue of Western Water examines the changed nature of the California Water Plan, some aspects of the 2009 update (including the recommendation for a water finance plan) and the reaction by certain stakeholders.

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

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.

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