|Clifton Court Forebay|
|Location|| San Joaquin River Delta |
Contra Costa County, California
|Primary inflows||Old River|
|Primary outflows|| California Aqueduct |
|Catchment area||6 square miles (16 km2)|
|Basin countries||United States|
|Max. length||2.5 miles (4.0 km)|
|Max. width||2 miles (3.2 km)|
|Surface area||2,500 acres (1,000 ha)|
|Average depth||10 m (33 ft)|
|Max. depth||20 m (66 ft)|
|Water volume||29,000 acre⋅ft (36 hm3)|
|Residence time||4 months|
|Surface elevation||3 feet (0.91 m)|
Clifton Court Forebay is a reservoir in the San Joaquin River Delta region of eastern Contra Costa County, California, 17 mi (27 km) southwest of Stockton. The estuary region the forebay is located in is only 1m to 3m above mean sea level.
The body of water was created in 1969 by inundating a 2,200-acre (890 ha) tract as part of the California State Water Project.
It serves as the intake point of the California Aqueduct for transport to Southern California, and feeds the Delta–Mendota Canal (a part of the Central Valley Project) to recharge San Joaquin Valley river systems.
If a large enough earthquake happens near or at the Clifton Court Forebay, the California water system for irrigation and municipal use will be adversely affected. Several earthquakes have nearly shut down the Forebay. The 2014 South Napa earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake came very close to shutting down the Forebay intake system.
The Clifton Forebay is a wetland system that drained nearby small rivers into the Pacific Ocean. Only in recent times was its freshwater drainage functions turned into a gateway to water storage.
The Central Valley region that this forebay interfaces with is very gradually filling in the central valley with sediments. The region may be rebounding from recent run ins with glaciations that affected North America.
A documentary about the decline of the United States' infrastructure, The Crumbling of America,was commissioned by the U.S. A&E network in the late 2000s. The documentary is typically shown on the History television channel in the United States, although other educational broadcasters globally have shown it. It features the Clifton Court Forebay as a "strategic piece of California freshwater infrastructure" subject to shutdown for up to two years if struck by an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 or greater.
The Central Valley is a broad, flat valley that dominates the interior of California. It is 40 to 60 miles wide and stretches approximately 450 miles (720 km) from north-northwest to south-southeast, inland from and parallel with the Pacific coast. It covers approximately 18,000 square miles (47,000 km2), about 11% of California's land area. The valley is bounded by the Coast Ranges to the west and the Sierra Nevada to the east.
The San Joaquin River is the longest river of Central California in the United States. The 366-mile (589 km) long river starts in the high Sierra Nevada, and flows through the rich agricultural region of the northern San Joaquin Valley before reaching Suisun Bay, San Francisco Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. An important source of irrigation water as well as a wildlife corridor, the San Joaquin is among the most heavily dammed and diverted of California's rivers.
The Governor Edmund G. Brown California Aqueduct is a system of canals, tunnels, and pipelines that conveys water collected from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and valleys of Northern and Central California to Southern California. Named after California Governor Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown Sr., the over 400-mile (640 km) aqueduct is the principal feature of the California State Water Project.
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Castaic Dam is an embankment dam in northwestern Los Angeles County, California, in the unincorporated area of Castaic. Although located on Castaic Creek, a major tributary of the Santa Clara River, Castaic Creek provides little of its water. The lake is the terminus of the West Branch of the California Aqueduct, part of the State Water Project. The dam was built by the California Department of Water Resources and construction was completed in 1973. The lake has a capacity of 325,000 acre-feet (401,000,000 m3) and stores drinking water for the western portion of the Greater Los Angeles Area.
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