California’s Water Supply, A 700 Mile Journey

LAist, Capital Public Radio
**First in a 5-part series**

Engineers drive through a tunnel on an electric cart down to the Hyatt Power Plant, which lies under rock at the bottom of the Oroville Dam. “It’s a quarter of a mile underground and it’s the length of two football fields,” says Gina House with the California Department of Water Resources. “So there are five floors. This is the top floor, the generator floor.” Delivering water in California takes vast amounts of energy. This is where it all begins. House takes me 770 feet above the plant, to the top of Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest. Behind it, the Lake Oroville Reservoir can store up to 3.5 million acre feet of water. “This is the head of the state water project, this is where all the water starts to be delivered,” says House. The State Water Project is the nation’s largest state-built water delivery system, consisting of more than 700 miles of canals, reservoirs, pumping stations and power plants. From Oroville, water flows down the Feather River to the Sacramento River and into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.



Share the Post:

Related Posts