California State Water Project Research Paper

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California State Water Project
Systems Engineering, Integrated Water Supply Planning and Management

Caio Fernandes Pereira Santos

Global Water Resources
Geography 318
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Fall 2015
Instructor: Dr. Ruth Baker
California’s water system is large, complex, and interconnected. Most precipitation falls in the sparsely populated northern and mountainous regions of the state during the winter, whereas most human water demands occur during the late spring, summer, and early fall in the population and farming centers farther south and along the coast. Precipitation also varies greatly across the years, making the state susceptible to large floods and prolonged droughts. These conditions
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The SWP diverts water from the Feather River to the Central Valley, South Bay Area and Southern California. The SWP includes 34 storage facilities, reservoirs and lakes, 20 pumping plants, 4 pumping generating plants, 5 hydroelectric power plants, and over 700 miles of canals and pipelines. It is the largest water system in the world and it manages over 5.8 million acre feet of water per year. The water is pumped 2,000 feet over the Tehachapi Mountains to reach Southern California, making it the highest water lift in the world (California Department of Water…show more content…
California is a land of contrast, with climate and geography ranging from desert to alpine to subtropical. Some areas may receive two inches of rain a year, while others are deluged with 100 inches or more. Population centers have grown up in many locations where there is not a sufficient local water supply. Thus, Californians have always been faced with the problem of how best to conserve, control, and move water to areas of need (California Department of Water Resources).
Today, the State Water Project (SWP) is responsible for bringing potable water to 25 million people and provides irrigation for 750,000 acres of farmland. About 30 percent of that water is used for irrigation, mostly in the San Joaquin Valley, and about 70 percent is used for residential, municipal and industrial use, mainly in Southern California but also in the Bay Area. Without it California would never have become the economic powerhouse it is today. (Water Education Foundation). References
California Department of Water Resources. "A Look Back at Past California Water Plans".
California Department of Water Resources. "California State Water Project Overview".
California Department of Water Resources. "California State Water Project Map".
California Department of Water Resources. "California State Water Project At A

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