The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Securing Reliable Water Supplies for Future Generations
About 30 percent of the water that flows out of taps in Southern California comes from Northern California via the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. But the Delta's delivery system is badly outdated, a problem compounded both by a declining ecosystem and 1,100-mile levee system that are increasingly vulnerable. California WaterFix is a comprehensive solution proposed by state and federal agencies to ensure our state has a reliable water supply for many years to come. It would modernize the decades-old delivery system through the building of three new intakes in the northern Delta along with two tunnels to carry water to the existing aqueduct system in the southern Delta.
The estimated cost of California WaterFix is about $17 billion, with Southern California’s share about a quarter of that. But the cost of doing nothing would be greater as the reliability of the state’s single largest water supply, the Sierra snowpack, would remain in jeopardy.
On October 10, 2017 Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors voted to support California WaterFix.
The Delta water system is outdated and unreliable. The system relies on levees that are vulnerable to earthquakes, floods and rising sea levels under climate change. And when these levees fail, water rushes into the lower-than-sea level islands behind them, pulling in salt water from the bay and fouling water quality before it can be delivered to Southern California, the Bay Area and Central Valley farmland. In addition, powerful existing state and federal pumps are strong enough to cause rivers to flow in reverse. This traps migrating and endangered fish, leading to declines in native fish populations.
"This project has been subjected to 10 years of detailed analysis and more environmental review than any other project in the history of the world. It is absolutely essential if California is to maintain a reliable water supply."