Friday October 21, 2022

California Department of Water Resources

This week, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) began construction to remove the emergency drought salinity barrier from the West False River in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, fulfilling the emergency project’s permit requirements.

Since its construction in June 2021, the barrier fulfilled its mission of slowing the movement of saltwater into the central and south Delta and preventing contamination of water supplies for Delta agriculture, the environment, and fresh water supplies for millions of Californians.

Installation of the emergency drought salinity barrier is just one of many DWR actions taken to mitigate drought impacts consistent with Governor Newsom’s April 21, 2021 emergency order directing state agencies to take immediate steps to bolster drought resistance across the state.

Removal of the barrier, which was initially scheduled for November 2021, was delayed in response to continuing dry conditions and low reservoir levels seen last year. By keeping the barrier in place for an additional year, water operators have been able to preserve critical water supplies in upstream reservoirs by avoiding the need to send large volumes of water into the Delta to repel salinity.

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