When a magnitude 4.2 earthquake struck near Isleton in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta on October 18, it was a reminder of the threat posed to critical State Water Project infrastructure by seismic activity.
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 high-quality, clean, safe 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. 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 about 750,000 acres of farmland. The infrastructure that enables conveyance of 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?
California faces a future of water instability, more rain, less snow, and more frequent extreme events like drought and flood. These changes will reduce the ability of the SWP’s current infrastructure to capture water, especially because there will be less snow and snowmelt available.
The proposed Delta Conveyance Project is an essential climate adaptation strategy. It protects against future water supply losses caused by climate change, sea level rise, and earthquakes. It also helps ensure that the SWP can capture, move and store water to make the most of big, but infrequent, storm events.
View more frequently asked questions related to the Delta Conveyance Project.
Delta Conveyance Quick Questions Feature Video
Information and resources related to some of the more critical environmental compliance and permitting processes that must be completed prior to construction and operation of the proposed Delta Conveyance Project, if approved by DWR after completion of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), can be found at www.deltaconveyanceproject.com.
Delta Conveyance Updates
The State Water Project (SWP) moves life-sustaining water across the state for 27 million Californians and 750,000 acres of farmland. It supplies families, businesses, crops, and industries with safe and affordable water. Without modernization of our infrastructure, climate-driven weather extremes and seismic threats will affect how we can deliver ...
The proposed Delta Conveyance Project, by adding intakes in the northern Delta and an earthquake resilient tunnel, provides some insurance against water supply disruption from an earthquake in the Bay Area or Delta.
The series of atmospheric river storms that brought record-breaking amounts of rain and snow this year has many Californians asking if our existing water infrastructure is able to capture and store flows from these extreme weather events.