California WaterFix

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FIXING

CALIFORNIA'S WATER SYSTEM

SECURING STATE WATER SUPPLIES

ALTERNATIVE 4A

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THE PROBLEM

California’s primary clean water supply that 25 million people depend on is out of date, unreliable and inefficient

1

Our water system is out of date and our primarywater supply is at risk

California’s largest supply of clean water is dependent on 50-year-old levees. Earthquakes, floods and rising sea levels could cause these levees to fail, putting our fresh water supply at risk from saltwater contamination.

2

We are wasting water

The current system is inefficient and cannot adequately capture and store water when it’s available. We are leaving behind fresh water that could be used by farms, businesses and communities.

3

The cost of doing nothing is too great

Without an update to our water infrastructure, the environment and the state’s economy are at risk. We face serious potential for disruption to our water supplies causing job loss, higher food and water prices, and significant species decline.

4

Our environment is suffering

The current pumps are extremely powerful, causing harmful reverse flows, trapping endangered fish and pulling them toward predators. We can’t let endangered species go extinct.

We need a real solution that provides reliable, clean and safe water to California businesses, farms and residents.

A STATE-OF-THE-ART SOLUTION

Science, Technology and Innovation

WaterFix is a science-driven upgrade to our aging water system. It will provide clean, reliable water while protecting our environment. WaterFix covers five main areas:

WATER SECURITY
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
REDUCED RISK FROM EARTHQUAKES AND CLIMATE CHANGE
SYSTEM UPGRADES AND NEW TECHNOLOGY
INCREASED EFFICIENCY

WaterFix is supported by engineers, scientists, water experts, California businesses and environmental groups. It is the result of an unprecedented level of public review and comment, and was chosen after evaluating thousands of alternatives because it is an economically smart solution to our state’s water problem.

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PROJECT DETAILS

California WaterFix (WaterFix) is a bold, forward-thinking approach to California’s toughest water problems. It will modernize our aging water delivery system and go beyond the status quo to protect sensitive fish species. Key components include:

Protect our state’s water supplies from climate change through water system upgrades

Protect our state’s water supplies from climate change through water system upgrades

Improve river flows for threatened fish species

Improve river flows for threatened fish species

Ecosystem restoration and protection

Ecosystem restoration and protection

1
WATER DELIVERY UPGRADE
2 tunnels up to 150’ below ground designed to protect California’s water supplies

2 tunnels up to 150’ below ground designed to protect California’s water supplies

3 new intakes, each with 3,000 cubic-feet per second (cfs) capacity and an average annual yield of 4.9 million acre-feet

3 new intakes, each with 3,000 cubic-feet per second (cfs) capacity and an average annual yield of 4.9 million acre-feet

Protection against water supply disruption from failure of aging levees due to sea-level rise, earthquakes and flood events

Protection against water supply disruption from failure of aging levees due to sea-level rise, earthquakes and flood events

OPERATIONS
2
IMPROVED RIVER FLOWS
Reinstate a more natural direction of river flows in the South Delta by 46-160 percent

Reinstate a more natural direction of river flows in the South Delta

New criteria to protect spring outflow to San Francisco Bay

New criteria to protect spring outflow to San Francisco Bay

Criteria to protect Sacramento River flows and fish

Criteria to protect Sacramento River flows and fish

3
ENVIRONMENTAL ENHANCEMENTS

Based on ongoing review of potential construction and operational impacts, mitigation for California WaterFix construction and operation will include about 2,300 acres of habitat restoration and up to 13,300 acres of habitat protection (e.g. conservation easements). This additional acreage will focus primarily on preserving habitat and wildlife-friendly agriculture in the Delta. DWR and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation anticipate these revised acreage targets for habitat restoration and protection will be the maximum amount required for mitigation. Final determinations will be based on actual project impacts and consultation with fish and wildlife agencies. All habitat restoration and protection costs for California WaterFix will be paid for exclusively by water agencies benefiting from the project.

Separate from California WaterFix and over the next 5 years, California will pursue more than 30,000 acres of critical Delta restoration under the California EcoRestore program, pursuant to pre-existing regulatory requirements such as the 2008 and 2009 biological opinions and various enhancements to improve the overall health of the Delta ecosystem.

Proposition 1 funds and other state public dollars will be directed exclusively for public benefits unassociated with any regulatory compliance responsibilities.

Restore tidal and non-tidal wetland habitat to sustain habitat functions for native wildlife, such as the Giant Garter Snake and salmon

Improve habitat conditions along five miles of important juvenile salmon migration routes

Restore tidal and non-tidal wetland habitat to sustain habitat functions for native wildlife, such as the Giant Garter Snake and salmon

Restore tidal and non-tidal wetland habitat to sustain habitat functions for native wildlife, such as the giant garter snake and salmon

Restore native riparian forest and scrub to support habitat for riverside species and improve linkages for terrestrial and other native species

Restore native riparian forest and scrub to support habitat for riverside species and improve linkages for terrestrial and other native species

Improve connectivity among existing patches of grassland and other natural habitats

Improve connectivity among existing patches of grassland and other natural habitats

Ecosystem Restoration and Protection
The cost to fix California’s primary water delivery system is estimated at $14.9 billion – or about $5 a month for urban water users – and will be paid for by public water agencies that rely on the supplies.

The cost to fix California’s primary water delivery system is estimated at $14.9 billion - or about $5 a month for urban water users – and will be paid for by public water agencies that rely on the supplies.

An Adaptive Management and Monitoring Program will guide real-time operations of the system.

Use of collaborative science and adaptive management to address uncertainties and make adjustments over time.

Our communities — farms, businesses, homes — and economy depend upon reliable, affordable, high quality water supplies.

Our communities - farms, businesses, homes - and economy depend upon reliable, affordable, high quality water supplies.

The time to act is now. Californians cannot afford a broken and unreliable water delivery system.

The time to act is now. Californians cannot afford a broken and unreliable water delivery system.

NEWS & INFORMATION

August 17, 2016 - Mielke: WaterFix provides solution to California's water woes

SVLG Op-Ed in the San Jose Mercury News

Downtown San Jose sank 13 feet between 1910 and 1970 from excessive groundwater pumping. Repairs to sewers, roads, and bridges, plus the construction of levees to protect land below high tide from flooding, cost the area at least $750 million in 2013 dollars.

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August 02, 2016 - Work on Water Fix Progresses with Release of Biological Assessment

Reclamation and DWR Release Species-by-Species Analysis

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) have released a revised biological assessment for the California WaterFix to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) with a request to begin the formal consultation process under Section 7 of the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). The goal of WaterFix is to balance the needs of California residents with the needs of Delta fish and wildlife. This biological assessment articulates how WaterFix would be operated to meet the needs of endangered species.

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July 25, 2016 - State Water Resources Control Board Hearings on WaterFix Begin

CNRA Press Release

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Tomorrow, the State Water Resources Control Board will begin public hearings on the Department of Water Resources' (DWR) request to add three new points of diversion for California WaterFix. The opening three days of the hearings will likely begin with policy statements from the Natural Resources Agency and U.S. Department of the Interior followed by public comment.

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NEWS ARCHIVE
PRESS CONTACT

Erin Mellon
650-793-3696

erin.mellon@resources.ca.gov

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