Clifton Court Forebay

Last updated

Clifton Court Forebay
Relief map of California.png
Red pog.svg
Clifton Court Forebay
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Clifton Court Forebay
Location San Joaquin River Delta
Contra Costa County, California
Coordinates 37°49′48″N121°33′24″W / 37.8299°N 121.5568°W / 37.8299; -121.5568 [1] Coordinates: 37°49′48″N121°33′24″W / 37.8299°N 121.5568°W / 37.8299; -121.5568 [1]
Type Reservoir
Primary inflows Old River
Primary outflows California Aqueduct
Delta–Mendota Canal
Catchment area 6 square miles (16 km2) [2]
Basin  countries United States
Max. length2.5 miles (4.0 km)
Max. width2 miles (3.2 km)
Surface area2,500 acres (1,000 ha) [2]
Average depth10 m (33 ft)
Max. depth20 m (66 ft)
Water volume29,000 acre⋅ft (36 hm3) [2]
Residence time 4 months
Surface elevation3 feet (0.91 m) [1]

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.

Contents

History

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. [3]

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. [4]

Geological context

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, [5] 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.

See also

Related Research Articles

Central Valley (California) Flat valley that dominates central California

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.

San Joaquin River Longest river of Central California, United States

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.

California Aqueduct Water supply project

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.

Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta Inland river delta and estuary in Northern California

The Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, or California Delta, is an expansive inland river delta and estuary in Northern California. The Delta is formed at the western edge of the Central Valley by the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and lies just east of where the rivers enter Suisun Bay. The Delta is recognized for protection by the California Bays and Estuaries Policy. Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta was designated a National Heritage Area on March 12, 2019. The city of Stockton is located on the San Joaquin River on the eastern edge of the delta. The total area of the Delta, including both land and water, is about 1,100 square miles (2,800 km2). Its population is around 500,000 residents.

Oroville Dam Dam in Oroville, California

Oroville Dam is an earthfill embankment dam on the Feather River east of the city of Oroville, California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of the Sacramento Valley. At 770 feet (235 m) high, it is the tallest dam in the U.S. and serves mainly for water supply, hydroelectricity generation and flood control. The dam impounds Lake Oroville, the second largest man-made lake in the state of California, capable of storing more than 3.5 million acre-feet.

Lake Oroville Reservoir in California, U.S.

Lake Oroville is a reservoir formed by the Oroville Dam impounding the Feather River, located in Butte County, northern California. The lake is situated 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of the city of Oroville, within the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Known as the second-largest reservoir in California, Lake Oroville is treated as a keystone facility within the California State Water Project by storing water, providing flood control, recreation, freshwater releases assist in controlling the salinity intrusion into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and protecting fish and wildlife.

Mokelumne River River in northern California

The Mokelumne River is a 95-mile (153 km)-long river in northern California in the United States. The river flows west from a rugged portion of the central Sierra Nevada into the Central Valley and ultimately the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, where it empties into the San Joaquin River-Stockton Deepwater Shipping Channel. Together with its main tributary, the Cosumnes River, the Mokelumne drains 2,143 square miles (5,550 km2) in parts of five California counties. Measured to its farthest source at the head of the North Fork, the river stretches for 157 miles (253 km).

Delta–Mendota Canal

The Delta–Mendota Canal is a 117-mile-long (188 km) aqueduct in central California, United States. The canal was designed and completed in 1951 by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Central Valley Project to supply freshwater to users downstream of the San Joaquin River. Freshwater is diverted into the Madera Canal and Friant-Kern Canal at Friant Dam.

Castaic Dam Dam in northwest Los Angeles County, California, United States

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.

San Luis Dam Dam in Merced County, California

San Luis Dam is a major earth-filled dam in Merced County, California, which forms San Luis Reservoir, the largest off-stream reservoir in the United States. The dam and reservoir are located in the Diablo Range to the east of Pacheco Pass and about 10 miles (16 km) west of Los Banos. San Luis Dam, a jointly-owned state and federal facility, stores more than 2 million acre feet (2.5 km3) of water for the California State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project. Although the dam is located in the valley of San Luis Creek, the majority of its water comes from man-made aqueducts which are supplied from other rivers in Northern California.

California Department of Water Resources

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is part of the California Natural Resources Agency and is responsible for the management and regulation of the State of California's water usage. The department was created in 1956 by Governor Goodwin Knight following severe flooding across Northern California in 1955, where they combined the Division of Water Resources of the Department of Public Works with the State Engineer's Office, the Water Project Authority, and the State Water Resources Board. It is headquartered in Sacramento.

San Luis Reservoir

The San Luis Reservoir is an artificial lake on San Luis Creek in the eastern slopes of the Diablo Range of Merced County, California, approximately 12 mi (19 km) west of Los Banos on State Route 152, which crosses Pacheco Pass and runs along its north shore. It is the fifth largest reservoir in California. The reservoir stores water taken from the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta. Water is pumped uphill into the reservoir from the O'Neill Forebay which is fed by the California Aqueduct and is released back into the forebay to continue downstream along the aqueduct as needed for farm irrigation and other uses. Depending on water levels, the reservoir is approximately nine miles long from north to south at its longest point, and five miles (8 km) wide. At the eastern end of the reservoir is the San Luis Dam, or the B.F. Sisk Dam, the fourth largest embankment dam in the United States, which allows for a total capacity of 2,041,000 acre-feet (2,518,000 dam3). Pacheco State Park lies along its western shores.

California State Water Project Flood control, energy production, and water conveyance infrastructure in California

The California State Water Project, commonly known as the SWP, is a state water management project in the U.S. state of California under the supervision of the California Department of Water Resources. The SWP is one of the largest public water and power utilities in the world, providing drinking water for more than 23 million people and generating an average of 6,500 GWh of hydroelectricity annually. However, as it is the largest single consumer of power in the state itself, it has a net usage of 5,100 GWh.

The Peripheral Canal was a series of proposals starting in the 1940s to divert water from California's Sacramento River, around the periphery of the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, to uses farther south. The canal would have attempted to resolve a problem with the quality of water pumped south. Pumps create such a powerful suction that the boundary between freshwater to saltwater has shifted inland, negatively affecting the environment. The pumps have increased by 5 to 7 million acre-feet the amount of water exported each year to the Central Valley and Southern California. However, the peripheral canal as proposed would have reduced the overall freshwater flow into the Delta and move the freshwater-saltwater interface further inland, causing damage to Delta agriculture and ecosystems.

Pardee Dam Dam in Sierra Nevada FoothillsAmador County, California Calaveras County, California

Pardee Dam is a 345-foot (105 m)-high structure across the Mokelumne River which marks the boundary between Amador and Calaveras Counties, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada approximately 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Stockton.

Water in California Water supply and distribution in the U.S. state of California

California's interconnected water system serves over 30 million people and irrigates over 5,680,000 acres (2,300,000 ha) of farmland. As the world's largest, most productive, and potentially most controversial water system, it manages over 40 million acre-feet (49 km3) of water per year.

ONeill Forebay

O'Neill Forebay is a forebay to the San Luis Reservoir created by the construction of O'Neill Dam across San Luis Creek approximately 12 miles (19 km) west of Los Banos, California, United States, on the eastern slopes of the Pacific Coast Ranges of Merced County.

Mokelumne Aqueduct

The Mokelumne Aqueduct is a 95-mile (153 km) water conveyance system in central California, United States. The aqueduct is supplied by the Mokelumne River and provides water to 35 municipalities in the East Bay in the San Francisco Bay Area. The aqueduct and the associated dams, pipelines, treatment plants and hydroelectric system are owned and operated by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and provide over 90 percent of the water used by the agency.

California Water Fix and Eco Restore, formerly known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, is a $15 billion plan proposed by Governor Jerry Brown and the California Department of Water Resources to build two large, four-story tall tunnels to carry fresh water from the Sacramento River under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta toward the intake stations for the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project.

Old River (California)

The Old River is a tidal distributary of the San Joaquin River that flows for about 40 miles (64 km) through the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta in Northern California. The Old River was once the main channel of the San Joaquin until navigation and flood control projects in the late 19th and 20th century fixed the San Joaquin to its present course past Stockton. It diverges from the San Joaquin near Tracy, about 38 miles (61 km) upstream from Antioch, and first runs west towards Mountain House, then north to rejoin the San Joaquin 13 miles (21 km) above Antioch. The river is lined with levees that prevent flooding of the adjacent Delta islands, many of which lie below sea level. The Middle River runs east of and roughly parallel to Old River. False River diverges from Old River about a mile (1.6 km) above the Old River's mouth and runs westward to join the San Joaquin at a point closer to Antioch. Part of the Old River forms the boundary between San Joaquin County on the east and Contra Costa County to the west.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "Clifton Court Forebay". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey.
  2. 1 2 3 "Dams Within the Jurisdiction of the State of California (A-G)" (PDF). California Department of Water Resources, Division of Safety of Dams. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  3. Kevin W. Clark; Mark D. Bowen; Ryan B. Mayfield; Katherine P. Zehfuss; Justin D. Taplin; Charles H. Hanson (March 2009). "Quantification of Pre-Screen Loss of Juvenile Steelhead in Clifton Court Forebay" (.PDF). California Natural Resources Agency, Department of Water Resources, State of California: 1–3. Retrieved September 29, 2009.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. The Atlantic.com: "The American Aqueduct and the Great California Water Saga", February 2014.
  5. "The Crumbling of America (2:49 introductory clip)" . Retrieved September 11, 2013.