February Next Wave Newsletter
How does water get to Southern California? Have you ever thought about where the water from your tap starts out? Tens of millions of people rely on extraordinary efforts to safely deliver water from Northern to Southern California each day!  

Southern California has two main supplies of imported water. Even though it comes from within California, it is called “imported” since it is delivered from either Northern California or the California-Arizona border. Water districts, agencies and cities typically have several water sources, but many in the WEWAC service area buy imported water. Here are a few quick facts about the major water projects and aqueducts which cross California.  

State Water Project (North to South)
  • The main reservoir is Lake Oroville 
  • Delivers water to approximately 25 million people in California from the Bay area down to San Diego
  • Contains about 700 miles of canals and pipelines
  • Has 34 water storage facilities and 5 hydroelectric plants

Central Valley Water Project (North to South)
  • The main reservoir is Lake Shasta
  • It is used for flood protection, but it also supplies water for farms, businesses, and homes throughout the Central Valley
  • Has 20 dams to provide flood protection and store water

Colorado River Aqueduct (East to West)
  • Starts at Lake Havasu 
  • The aqueduct is about 242 miles long
  • Water in the aqueduct is divided among seven states, but California receives the majority of it
  • Can deliver 1 billion gallons of water per day

Los Angeles Aqueduct (North to South)
  • Has been delivering water to Los Angeles since 1913
  • The aqueduct has about 280 miles of pipeline
  • Uses gravity to move the water in the canal
  • William Mulholland was a major influence on the project
  • In 1905, the Board of Water Commissioners approved 23 million dollars for the project which is more than 500 million in today’s dollars 


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