California State Water Project

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dos Amigos pumping station, part of the SWP
State water project

The California State Water Project , commonly known as the SWP, is the world's largest publicly built and still intact water and energy management system.


The SWP is operated by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). The original purpose of the project was to divert water into arid Southern California , where adequate local water resources are lacking. In 2006, the SWP supplied drinking water to over 23 million people and generated an average of 6.5 million MWh per year from hydropower .

Construction began in the late 1950s, with major measures approved in 1960 through borrowing funds . The vote on the bonds split California as Northern Californians opposed the move as a hoax and an attempt to steal their water resources. Most of the water (approximately 80 percent) is for agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley . Because the Tehachapi Mountains are costly to pump the water , southern California also relies on other water sources such as the Owens River , the Mono Lake tributaries, and the Colorado River .

The main structures of the project include the Oroville Dam , the San Luis Reservoir and the California Aqueduct . In dry years, the water pumped out of the Sacramento River Delta poses a threat to salmon , as the normal flow in the delta from east to west, which the young salmon follow to the Pacific , is disturbed .

In 1972 the American Society of Civil Engineers recognized the achievements of the construction project with the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award .

Occurring problem

In 2015, aging problems and inadequate overflow design are reported which are to be remedied with the help of a type of bypass solution called WaterFix . In 2019, however, the building permits will be withdrawn and replaced with a smaller solution called Delta Conveyance . The preparation of an environmental impact report will be initiated in early 2020.

SWP plants

The SWP extends over almost the entire length of California and consists of 36 storage facilities, 21 pumping stations, five hydropower stations and four pumped storage power stations for generating electricity. An example is the Oroville Dam on the Feather River in Butte County , California.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The State Water Project Is Going Through a Classic Midlife Crisis. Retrieved February 23, 2020 .
  2. State withdraws WaterFix Approvals, Initiates Planning and Permitting for a Smaller single tunnel. Retrieved February 23, 2020 .
  3. ^ Delta Conveyance Notice of Preparation. Retrieved February 23, 2020 .
  4. Facilities. Retrieved February 23, 2020 .