Securing Reliable Water Supplies for Future Generations

California WaterFix

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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 But the Delta's delivery system is badly outdated, a problem compounded both by a declining ecosystem and 1,100-mile levee system that are increasingly vulnerable.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.

 

On April 10, 2018, the Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors voted 61 percent to 39 percent to provide additional financing necessary to allow for the construction of the full California WaterFix project.

Public Comments

Metropolitan’s Board of Directors held a series of public meetings to review different components of California WaterFix including the physical project, the proposed water operations and key financial issues. Resolutions, letters of support and letters of concern were submitted. Below is a link to correspondence received by Metropolitan.

New Opportunities for Contractors

Contractors interested in working for the California WaterFix project have a new way to access bid opportunities through a bid management system that was just established in August.

 

The Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA), the agency, responsible for the design, construction, and delivery of the California WaterFix facilities, has joined PlanetBids, a fully automated web-based vendor and bid management system. Those who are interested in contract opportunities with CA WaterFix can visit PlanetBids to register as a vendor and receive upcoming bid opportunities related to WaterFix and the DCA.

 

Upon successful registration, participants will be sent a confirmation email and begin receiving Bid Alert emails directly from PlanetBids when projects in their area of interest are posted.

Response to Alleged Violation of Brown Act

On May 7, 2018, Metropolitan received a Notice of Brown Act Violation from Food & Water Watch and the First Amendment Coalition asserting two violations in connection with Metropolitan’s consideration and approval of increased funding for California WaterFix.  Below is a link to the notice and Metropolitan’s response.

  • Responses to the Public Records Act Request

Response to the PRA Request for Communications Relating to the 4/10/2018 Board Action

  • July 10 Board Meeting Materials

California WaterFix Implementation

To ensure the most effective approach to designing, constructing and financing California WaterFix, the State of California and the public agencies that are funding the project are forming a partnership to manage risk and build the project on time and budget. The partnership includes:

 

Chairman Record’s Statement on Formation Agreement, May 14, 2018

Chairman Record’s Memo on the Appointment of Metropolitan Representatives to the JPA, May 7, 2018

Fact Sheet on DCO and DCA Organizational Structure

California WaterFix Design and Construction Web Site

Information on Procurement, Small Business and Industry Events

The Need

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.

The Big One

New tunnel pipelines are a safeguard against a major earthquake collapsing Delta levees, which could shut off water deliveries to 25 million people, farms and businesses.

Drought

Nearly all water stored in Southern California for drought and emergency needs comes from Northern California or the Colorado River.

Groundwater

This is Southern California’s largest local water source and is mainly replenished by imported supplies from Northern California.

Big Storms

A modernized system could capture enough water to refill reservoirs after big Sierra storms, providing flexibility and reducing conflicts with fish such as salmon.

More Local Supplies

Sierra snowmelt is pure enough to recycle again and again in Southern California, promoting more recycling projects in the region’s future.

"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."

 

- Gov. Jerry Brown

The Fix

The California WaterFix proposes construction of three new water intakes located farther away from endangered species habitats. Two 40-foot wide tunnels located about 150 feet below ground would carry diverted water by gravity under the Delta to pumping facilities south of the estuary.

Water would be lifted into canals that flow several hundred miles through the state and as far south as San Diego. Learn more about the proposal in the videos below or from additional videos here.

The Decision

Near the end of 2016, the final environmental analysis for the California WaterFix project was published, representing a decade of scientific study, analysis and public input. The next milestone in the decision-making process was the release of biological opinions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service on June 26, which showed the project’s effects on endangered species.  This opinion will be followed by the release of the federal Record of Decision and the state’s Notice of Decision, which would allow the project to proceed.

 

Metropolitan’s Board of Directors held a series of public meetings to review different components of California WaterFix including the physical project, the proposed water operations and key financial issues.  Each of the workshops discussed detailed white papers (links below).  A listing of letters and resolutions submitted to Metropolitan can be found here.

 

White Paper #1: Infrastructure
White Paper #2: Operations

White Paper #3: Finance & Cost Allocation

A California WaterFix Dialogue: Questions Answered

October 10, 2017:

Metropolitan’s board approved the district’s 26 percent share of California WaterFix financing as well as moving forward on a governance structure to build and finance the $17 billion project.  Metropolitan’s share is about $4.3 billion.

 

April 10, 2018:

Metropolitan’s board approved to provide additional financing necessary to allow for the construction of the full California WaterFix project.  Metropolitan’s share is about $10.8 billion, making Metropolitan the primary investor in the project and more than doubling the agency’s initially planned investment to ensure the project is completed as originally proposed and studied.

 

May 14, 2018:

The Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Joint Powers Authority has been formed to manage, design and construct the project with transparency and accountability. Read more.

 

July 10, 2018:

Metropolitan's board approved additional funding for the full California WaterFix Project. Read press release.

The Toolkit

Visit our toolkit to watch more videos, read and download fact sheets, get photos, maps and graphics and find all the resources and information you need to understand and share information about California WaterFix.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California