What is the California WaterFix?
While two-thirds of the state’s population is found in Southern California, nearly two-thirds of the state’s water comes from Northern California, primarily from the Sierras. To reach Southern California, the water must flow from Lake Oroville down the Feather River, then into the Sacramento River. It then passes through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a network of waterways, islands and farmlands protected by fragile levees. At the south end of the Delta, large pumps lift water into the State Water Project’s California Aqueduct.
The Delta poses many challenges—rising sea level or failed levees can cause an inflow of salt water from San Francisco Bay. Threatened species, like the Chinook Salmon and the Delta Smelt, reduce the amount of water that can be sent to farms and cities to the south.
The California WaterFix proposes to bypass most of these challenges by placing two water tunnels beneath the Delta, assuring a reliable supply of high quality water that can be used and stored south of the Delta, especially during times of surplus. Even with the tunnels in place, flows would be maintained down the Sacramento River and through the Delta, protecting the natural ecosystem.
Why Do We Need the California WaterFix?
To Improve Drinking Water Supply Reliability and Water Quality
Since there are no local drinking water supplies, 100 percent of the drinking water provided to Las Virgenes Municipal Water District customers is imported from Northern California. Our customers’ drinking water travels more than 400 miles to reach their tap.
Millions of other Californians also rely on clean water from the Bay-Delta; but the current delivery system that moves water through the Bay-Delta to cities and farms across the state is unreliable and water quality is threatened by salt water intrusion and runoff from agricultural areas. An earthquake or storm could breach one or more Delta levees and shut down pumping to the south for six months or more. Without an update to this important link in California’s water infrastructure, our drinking water supply and the state’s economy are at risk.
The California WaterFix, which is supported by the Governor, engineers, scientists, water experts, California businesses and environmental groups, will address this severe vulnerability in our water infrastructure and enable Southern California to be better prepared for future droughts.
To Improve the Environment
Not only will the WaterFix modernize California’s water delivery system, it will help protect the Delta’s fragile ecosystem, which is currently threatened by invasive species, declining native fish populations, saltwater intrusion and more.
The California WaterFix is consistent with the state’s established co-equal goals of water supply reliability and environmental stewardship of the Delta.
What Can You Do?
Let your state and federal representatives know that you place a high priority on the California WaterFix, as nothing is more essential to our quality of life than a reliable water supply.
For more information, visit the California WaterFix website.