Masters Thesis

Not business as usual: the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and water reliability in California

The Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta or Delta is 700,000 acres of pure magic. It is versatile and serves multiple purposes. The Delta has been the heart of the California water system since its inception. Over time, the Delta has suffered from overuse. Experts agree that it is currently in an unhealthy state and is at risk due to factors beyond human control. The people, wildlife and ecosystem of the Delta face many challenges and need a solution that will help them thrive while at the same time secure water deliveries to the rest of the state. This paper explores whether upgrading existing infrastructure or building new infrastructure is feasible and effective. The results suggest that new infrastructure is the best option. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) outlines a dual conveyance system that would meet the co-equal goals of addressing the Delta’s challenges and water demands. BDCP is being developed in a transparent manner that allows for public participation and input. Californians deserve to know that their water system is reliable and not at the mercy of a natural disaster. The new infrastructure outlined in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan is the best alternative and would ensure water reliability in California.


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