Two primary conduits were constructed in the 20th century to accomplish this movement of water. The Central Valley Project (CVP) was constructed by the US Bureau of Reclamation in the 1930s to transport water from Lake Shasta in the north, providing irrigation and drinking water to portions of the Bay Area and the arid southern San Joaquin Valley. The State Water Project (SWP) was constructed in the 1960s and 1970s to supply drinking and irrigation water, as well as industrial uses, to millions of people and hundreds of thousands of acres in agriculture in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, Central Coast, and Southern California. The hub of the whole system converges in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Part of the SWP master planning included a peripheral canal, but in the 1980s construction of it was defeated in a statewide referendum. Subsequent planning efforts beginning in the 2000s included the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), which incorporated both conveyance and ecosystem restoration, the CA WaterFix consisting of two, approximately 35-mile tunnels diverting Sacramento River water near the towns of Hood and Clarksburg and conveying it to the existing water export facilities in the south Delta, and currently the Delta Conveyance proposal of a single tunnel diversion.
The single tunnel conveyance proposal has two main separate but related strands:
- Department of Water Resources Environmental Permitting Process
- Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA), a joint powers authority of the State Water Contractors
In addition, the state’s Water Resilience Portfolio and the Natural Resources Agency’s Secretary’s Delta Stakeholders Roundtable are important initiatives affecting Delta communities.
Delta Protection Commission Involvement
Throughout the BDCP and CA WaterFix processes, consistent with its legislative mandates, the Commission has advocated for the protection of Delta communities, and cultural, agricultural, recreational and ecosystem concerns in arriving at a solution to the state’s critical water supply needs.
Copies of future comment letters or actions taken by the Commission as the single tunnel DWR environmental permitting and DCA construction design processes unfold will be accessible on this page.
For more information contact Virginia Gardiner.