California is immersed in a third year of drought, with January, February and March of 2022 experiencing the lowest precipitation on record. Weather whiplash of big storms followed by dry spells makes every drop of rain, every flake of snow, and every water molecule vital this year for families, farms, the environment and the economy.
What is Delta conveyance?
Delta conveyance refers to State Water Project (SWP) infrastructure in the vast network of waterways comprising the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) that collects and moves fresh, clean and affordable water to homes, farms and businesses throughout major regions of the state from the Bay Area to Southern California. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is the owner and operator of the SWP and is responsible for all associated upgrades and maintenance, including the proposed Delta Conveyance Project that will modernize this water transport infrastructure in the Delta.
View this Story Map for more information on several key aspects of the Delta Conveyance Project.
Why is Delta conveyance important?
The Delta is at the center of California’s vital water distribution system. Two-thirds of California’s water originates in the Sierra Nevada Mountains as snowpack, eventually flowing through the Delta, where, consistent with water rights, including applicable water quality requirements, it is delivered to more than 27 million Californians and 750,000 acres of farmland. The infrastructure that enables conveyance for California’s primary water supply is critical to the health of local communities and the success of our state’s economy.
Why is this project needed?
Because the SWP relies on the Delta’s natural channels to convey water, it is vulnerable to earthquakes and sea level rise. Upgrading SWP infrastructure protects against these threats and secures the longevity of the SWP and the future reliability of SWP water supplies. The purpose of the proposed Delta Conveyance Project is to modernize the aging SWP infrastructure in the Delta to restore and protect the reliability of SWP water deliveries in a cost-effective manner, consistent with the State’s Water Resilience Portfolio. And in doing so, allow DWR to address sea level rise and climate change, minimize water supply disruption due to seismic risk and provide operational flexibility to improve aquatic conditions in the Delta.
View more frequently asked questions related to the Delta Conveyance Project.
Delta Conveyance Deep Dive Feature Video
Visit DWR's YouTube Channel to view more Delta Conveyance Deep Dive videos.
Delta Conveyance Updates
The upcoming year will mark an important milestone in the proposed Delta Conveyance Project planning process, with the anticipated release of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for public review and comment in mid-2022.
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is one of the largest estuaries in North America, providing habitat for around 500 plant and animal species, including about 50 species of fish. Approximately two thirds of California's salmon pass through the Delta on their way upstream to spawn.
Rain and snowfall in California have always been inconsistent and unpredictable. It is our climate’s natural state. The realities of climate change, that take the inconsistent nature of precipitation in California to an extreme, are making water management that much more of a challenge. The proposed Delta Conveyance Project is just one way the stat ...