California WaterFix Update

Photo courtesy of DWR

Issue 7, January 5, 2017

How much water?
That's a question many people are asking about the proposed California WaterFix project. The answer depends on how much water is flowing through the Delta. That's because the project would only export when there is an abundance of water in the system. When supplies are plentiful, as is the case right now thanks to a wet December in northern California, more water for California homes, businesses and farms would be available. When supplies are less plentiful, the project would be operated to keep more water in the system for native fish and habitat.
Photo courtesy of DWR
Photo courtesy of DWR
The proposed California WaterFix project would improve our ability to take advantage of these supplies when they are available. About one-third of Southern California's water supply is imported from Northern California, and much of that comes from just a few winter storms each year.  Right now, even when there are huge flows in Delta rivers, much of the water cannot be captured and stored because of outdated infrastructure.
In 2016 for example:
  • If WaterFix were in place, nearly half a million acre-feet of rainfall could have been captured and stored in January and February.  That's enough water to supply 3.6 million people for a year. Instead, most of that water flowed into San Francisco Bay.
  • A modernized system would allow us to capture more water during winter storms while also reducing pumping when inflows were low, limiting the risk to native fish and maintaining habitat and water quality.
When water flows are low, California WaterFix operations would be reduced, even to the point of no exports.  Ultimately, hydrology and real-time operations will determine how much water the modernized conveyance system could capture.




2016 water not captured from the San Joaquin - Sacramento Delta  
Read the previous issue of California WaterFix Update here.

For more information

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California