The California State Water Project


The California State Water Project (SWP) is part of one of the largest water storage and conveyance systems in the world. It delivers water to 29 contracted water suppliers who serve two-thirds of California's population - both urban and agricultural customers.

California's largest natural sources of fresh water are in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Northern California. Most of California's population centers and industrial agricultural lands are hundreds of miles from these sources. Regional water agencies purchase water from the SWP to supplement local sources.

Approved by the legislature in 1959, bonds for construction of the SWP were narrowly approved by California voters in November 1960. It's operated by the California Department of Water Resources.

Number of storage Facilities: 33
Number of Lakes/Reservoirs: 21
Total Reservoir Storage: 5.8 million acre-feet (7.2 cubic kilometers)
Largest Reservoir Capacity: 3.5 million acre-feet (4.3 cubic kilometers)
Largest Reservoir Surface Area: 15,810 acres
Longest Reservoir Shoreline: 167 miles
Highest Dam Structure: 770 feet (235 meters)
Largest Dam Structure: 80 million cubic yards (61 million cubic meters)
Longest Dam Crest: 42,000 feet (12,802 meters)
Highest Dam Crest Elevation: 5,785 feet (1,763 meters)
Length of Canals and Pipelines: 701 miles (1,128.15 kilometers)

Starting Maximum Pumping/Canal Volumes: 10,670 CFS /10,300 CFS
Largest Pumping Capacity: 15,450 CFS
Largest Canal Capacity: 13,100 CFS
Widest Part of Canal: 110 feet
Deepest Part of Canal: 32.8 feet
Highest Pump Lift/Volume: 1,926 feet/4,480 CFS

*Source: CA DWR

The California Aqueduct

The California Aqueduct

Click to enlarge. Source: CA DWR.