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The Resources Agency 

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BULLETIN No. 160-70 

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J[f;Tl Secrefary for Resources 
The Resources Agency 




State of California 



Department of Water Resources 

State of California 

The Resources Agency 



NORMAN B. LIVERMORE, JR., Secretary for Resources 

WILLIAM R. GIANELLI, Director, Department of Water Resources 

JOHN R. TEERINK, Deputy Director 


Herbert W. Greydanus Division Engineer 

This report was prepared under the direction of 
Albert J. Dolcini Chief, Statewide Planning Branch 

Earl G. Bingham Research Writer 

State of California 

Department of Water Resources 


IRA J. CHRISMAN, Chairman, Visalia 
CLAIR A. HILL, Vice Chairman, Redding 

Mai Coombs Garberville 

Ray W. Ferguson Ontario 

William H. Jennings La Mesa 

Clare Wm. Jones F irebaugh 

William P. Moses San Pablo 

Samuel B. Nelson Northridge 

Earnest R, Nichols Ventura 

R. Dean Thompson, Executive Officer 
C. A. McCullough, Engineer 

Copies of this summary report may be obtained 
without charge from: 

Department of Water Resources 
P O. Box 388 
Sacramento, Calif. 95802 

The detailed edition of Bulletin No. 160-70, on 
which this summary was based, priced at $5.00, 

may be ordered from: 

State of California 
P. O. Box 20191 
Sacramento, Calif. 95820 

Please make checks payable to State of 
California. California residents add 5% sales tax. 



The Outlook in 1970 5 

The Need for Water Development and 

Environmental Protection 9 

State Responsibility for Water Development ... 9 
Water Resources Management and the 

Environment 10 

State and Federal Environmental Legislation . . 10 

Progress in Water Resources Development .... 11 

Local Water Development 11 

Federal Water Projects 11 

State Water Project 11 


Population and Economic Growth 12 

Population Changes 12 

Industrial Growth 13 

Irrigated Agriculture 14 

Land Use 14 

Water Demands 15 

Cities and Industry 16 

Agriculture 18 

Recreation, Fish, and Wildlife 18 

Prevention of Flood Damage 19 

Water Quality 19 

State Water Resources Control Board .... 19 
Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control 

Act 20 


Surface Water Development 20 

Ground Water Development 21 

Availability of Ground Water 21 

Ground Water Management 24 

Desalting 24 

Department of Water Resources 

Program 24 

Current Status and Costs 26 

The Future of Desalting 26 

Water Reclamation 26 

Other Sources of Water 27 

Weather Modification 28 

Watershed Management 28 

Geothermal Water Resources 28 

Western States Water Development 29 

Undersea Aqueduct 29 



North Coastal Area 31 

San Francisco Bay Area 31 

Central Coastal Area 32 

South Coastal Area 32 

Sacramento Basin 32 

Delta-Central Sierra Area 33 

San Joaquin Basin 33 

Tulare Basin 33 

North Lahontan Area 34 

South Lahontan Area 34 

Colorado Desert Area 34 


Central Valley Project 35 

State Water Project 35 

The Peripheral Canal 35 

Projected Water Demands on the Federal 

and State Systems 37 

Possible Additions to the Central 

Valley Project 37 

Possible Additions to the State 

Water Project 38 



Three Model Urban Areas 39 

Model A 39 

Model B 40 

Model C 40 

Effects of Population Dispersal 40 

Water Development 40 

Disposal of Wastes 41 

Electric Power 42 

Air Pollution 42 

Transportation 42 

Summary 42 


Over the past 30 years, California has undergone one of the most rapid 
growth cycles ever experienced by a civilization. From less than 7 million in 
1940, the State's population has climbed to almost 20 million in 1970. 
Today, California is still growing, although at a reduced pace. Recent growth 
trends suggest a population of 29 million in 1990 and 45 million in 2020. 

As California continues to grow, so will the demand for water — for 
homes, for industry, for agriculture, for recreation and for a quality 
environment for future generations. Moreover, with increasing population 
will come equally increasing potential for water pollution. As we face the 
water problems of the future, we must respond to emerging concepts of 
environmental enhancement. Many of our past ideas must be modified to 
accommodate changing environmental conditions. 

Bulletin No. 160-70 provides a summary of our current planning — a look 
at what California is doing, within the framework of the California Water 
Plan, about the need for water and protection of the environment. The 
California Water Plan has demonstrated that California has sufficient water 
supplies to meet future needs. However, we cannot take nature's abundance 
for granted. As we face the challenges of the 1970s and beyond, we must 
continue to assess, plan, and use our water resources in an intelligent and 
thoughtful manner. 

Fortunately, the projected slower growth of statewide population, 
together with the additional water supplies being made available by projects 
under construction or authorized, will provide a "breathing spell" in the 
development of California's water resources. This will afford additional time 
to consider alternative resources of water supply and develop policies for the 
maximum protection of the environment. 

William R. Gianelli, D/rector 

Department of Water Resources 

The Resources Agency 

State of California 

December 1, 1970 













Figure 1. Hydrologic Study Areas of California. 


This report summarizes Bulletin No. 160-70, 
which (1) presents up-to-date projections of 
statewide water demands in 1990 and 2020, and 
(2) discusses possible sources of water to supply 
those demands. Bulletin No. 160-70 reports 
accomplishments in both planning and water 
development since the publication of Bulletin No. 
160-66*, the first of the Bulletin No. 160 series, 
which reported earlier progress in implementation 
of the California Water Plan. 

The projections and estimates presented in this 
report represent the outlook for the future as it 

appears in 1970 and will be periodically revised as 
dictated by changes that cannot be foreseen today. 
The extent of such revisions will of course depend 
on actual future changes. 

Following publication of Bulletin No. 160-66, 
the California Department of Water Resources 
began new studies of the long-term demand for 
water in each of the hydrologic areas of the State 
(Figure 1). Analyses of statewide water demands, 
along with the sufficiency of supplies to meet 
those demands, have revealed the following; 

The Outlook in 1970 

In General 

Sufficient water is developed by completed water projects, or will be 
developed by those under construction, to satisfy most urban and 
irrigation needs for about two decades. However, additional conveyance 
facilities are needed to deliver developed supplies to certain service 

The favorable status of developed water supplies affords time to 
evaluate potential alternative sources of water and devote more 
attention to the emerging environmental problems associated with 
water conservation projects and the evolvement of definite public 
policies on such problems. 

Whereas major storage projects are not immediately needed for water 
conservation, flood problems are increasing, and the control of floods 
may warrant construction of storage reservoirs, which should include 
conservation storage when justified. 

The quality of water supplies is generally satisfactory throughout most 
of the State, with the principal exception of supplies from the Colorado 
River, and care must be expressed to maintain the good quality. 

On Growth — 

The rapid growth of California's population that followed World War II 

decreased sharply by the mid-1960s because of reductions in births and 


Recent trends indicate that the present population of 20 million in 

California will increase to about 29 million in 1990 and 45 million in 

2020, instead of 35 million and 54 million as projected four years ago 

on the basis of the higher growth rates following World War II. 

Urban land use is expected to nearly double from 2.3 milhon acres in 
1967 to about 4.5 million acres in 2020 to accommodate the projected 
population of 45 million. 

California Department of Water Resources Bulletin No. 160-66. "Implementation of the California 
Water Plan". March 1966. 

• Irrigated acreage is expected to increase about 10 percent from 8.9 
million acres in 1967 to 9.8 million acres in 1990, and to increase only 
an additional 4 percent to 10.2 million acres in 2020. This projected 
growth in acreage is less than proportional to the projected growth of 
state and national requirements for food and fiber because improved 
agricultural methods are expected to produce greater yields per acre. 

• Projected increases in both leisure time and extra income suggest a 
rapid growth in the per capita demand for water-associated recreation, 
especially near urban areas. The annual demand for recreation is 
projected to increase from the current 218 million visitor-days to 2.5 
billion visitor-days by 2020. 

• Consumption of electrical energy has generally doubled about every 10 
years. This trend is expected to continue for about 20 years and then 
decline slightly after 1990. Electrical-generation requirements are 
expected to increase from 32,000 megawatts in 1970 to 110,000 
megawatts in 1990 and 412,000 megawatts in 2020. As more 
steam-electric powerplants are constructed, demands for cooling water 
will increase substantially. 

On Needs — 

• Statewide urban water demands are expected to increase from about 
3.7 million acre-feet in 1967 to 6.4 million acre-feet in 1990 and to 
10.3 million acre-feet in 2020. Overall per capita water demands are 
expected to increase some 20 percent by 2020; however, the growth of 
per capita demands in large metropolitan areas is expected to be 
somewhat lower because of the projected increase in high-rise multiple 
dwellings and a consequent reduction in demands for water to iiTigate 
lawns and gardens. 

• Demands for agricultural water will generally increase in proportion to 
the growth of irrigated acreage, i.e., from 24.4 million acre-feet in 1967 
to 27.4 million acre-feet in 1990, and 28.7 million acre-feet in 2020. 

• More than 80 percent of the additional electrical-generating capacity in 
1990 and 2020 is expected to be derived from fossil- or nuclear-fueled 
steam plants, which require very large amounts of cooling water. If 50 
percent of the projected increase in generating capacity between now 
and 2020 is located at inland sites, due to limited acceptability of 
coastal sites, about 3 million acre-feet of cooling water will be required 
each year. The possible water demands for cooling inland plants ai-e not 
included in the projected demands in this report. They could comprise 
one of the largest increases in future water demands. 

• Intensification of land use, resulting from the increasing population, 
will require a vigorous flood control program. Local agencies should 
carefully consider floodplain management in addition to the 
construction of flood control facilities. 

• The increasing demand for water-associated recreation will require the 
development of additional water surface and shoreline, particularly near 
major urban areas. 

• Studies of hypothetical patterns of distribution of California's future 
population indicate that, regardless of where population centers may be 
located, total statewide water demands will be essentially unchanged. 
Whereas the requirements for water conservation will remain the same, 
new population centers would require different patterns of water 
transportation facilities. 

On Present Water Supplies - 

• All major urban areas have adequate water supplies from existing 
projects or facilities authorized or under construction to meet water 
demands for the next 20 or more years. 

• Adequate quantities of water are generally available for irrigation, but 
in some ai-eas, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley, ground water is 
being overdrafted and in other areas, such as the Imperial and Coachella 
Valleys, significant water quality problems are emerging. 

• During the past four years, a number of major water supply projects 
have been completed. Other major projects are under construction. 

• The U. S. Bureau of Reclamation has completed federal-state 
facilities for the federal San Luis service area and begun construction 
of facilities for service in the Sacramento Valley and in the 
Folsom-South service areas. 

• The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun construction of six 
important multipurpose projects. 

• The initial facilities of the State Water Project are more than 95 
percent complete or under construction. 

• Local agencies have completed or begun construction of 35 reservoir 

On Future Water Supplies - 

• The alternative sources of water considered available for meeting future 
demands include surface water development by federal, state, and local 
agencies; increased use of ground water in conjunction with surface 
supplies; desalination; reclaimed waste water; weather modification; 
and geothermal resources. 

• Ground water will continue to be an important source of water. The 
primary value of ground water basins lies in their use for water storage 
and distribution in coordination with local and imported surface 
supplies as integrated systems. 

• Desalination offers promise of a supplemental source of fresh water, 
particularly in California's coastal areas. However, the future of 
desalted water as a major source of supply cannot be fully evaluated 
until the economics of desalination have been tested with a lai-ge-scale 
prototype development. The Department of Water Resources and the 
U. S. Office of Saline Water are cooperating in a program to lead to 
such a development by the late 1970s. 

• Reclamation of waste water presents a potential source for partial 
fulfillment of increasing water demands in major coastal metropolitan 
areas, particularly for environmental enhancement projects such as 
irrigation of recreational and agricultural greenbelts. 

• Desalination of geothermal water may eventually produce significant 
quantities of fresh water and electrical energy. The Department of 
Water Resources is participating in studies to determine the feasibility 
of development of geothermal resources in the Imperial Valley. 

• Modification of the weather may eventually become a feasible method 
for augmenting natural water supplies. The Department of Water 
Resources has been participating in experiments with weather modifica- 
tion since 1951. 

• As a result of the projected slower growth of statewide population as 
compared with projections made four years ago, future water demands 
are also expected to increase slowly. This slower projected growth of 
water demands, particularly in the South Coastal area, is expected to 
delay the time of need for an additional conservation facility for the 
State Water Project about 10 years until the mid-1990s. However, the 
time of need for an additional facility could be advanced by (1) 
greater-than-planned outflows of fresh water from the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta, as might be required by the State Water Resources 
Control Board; (2) the needs of additional service areas; or (3) increased 
water use in areas tributary to the Delta. 

• About 1 million acre-feet of imported supplemental water will be 
needed annually for the east side of the San Joaquin Valley to offset 
existing large overdrafts of local ground water. The proposed East Side 
Division of the Central Valley Project is a sound engineering proposal to 
eliminate existing deficiencies and to permit expansion of agricultural 
development. Through provisions for stream maintenance releases, the 
East Side Canal has the potential for environmentally enhancing the 
Sierra Nevada streams between Dry Creek in Sacramento County and 
the Kern River in Kern County. Specific plans for such releases should 
be developed. 

• The joint federal-state Peripheral Canal should be authorized by 
Congress and constructed to enhance the environment of the Sacra- 
mento-San Joaquin Delta and to provide good-quality water in the 
Delta and for other areas of California. 

• Local water agencies will continue to play an important role in the 
development of California's water resources. Local agencies are ex- 
pected to develop about 20 percent of the new water supplies required 
between now and 2020. They will also predominate in the construction 
of distribution facilities for water delivered from state and federal 

On Special Environmental Issues — 

• The rivers of California should be classified to identify their potential 
for various future uses, such as scenic and wild rivers, fisheries 
management, water conservation (including flood control), or hydro- 
electric power. The Department of Water Resources has a program for 
characterizing the State's rivers; and the Resources Agency is con- 
ducting a study of outstanding scenic and recreational waterways under 
the California Protected Waterways Act. 

• Studies of the protection and enhancement of fisheries and wildlife 
habitat should be expanded to include more complete consideration 
within the perspective of total resources planning and decision 

• Acceptable water quality is of paramount importance in the conser- 
vation, use, and disposal of water. The maintenance of acceptable water 
quality requires an intensive effort by all levels of government. 

The Need for Water Development and 
Environmental Protection 

California's natural water supplies are derived 
from an average annual precipitation of 200 
million acre-feet. About 65 percent of this precipi- 
tation is consumed through evaporation and trans- 
piration. The remaining 35 percent comprises the 
State's annual average runoff of 70 million acre- 
feet. The average runoff available in the 11 
hydrologic areas of California is shown in Figure 2. 











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Figure 2. Average Annual Runoff in California. 

The wide disparity in available runoff, both 
from year to year and between hydrologic areas, 
creates the need for the storage and conveyance of 
surface water and the extensive use of ground 
water. As shown in Figure 2, the greatest amounts 
of runoff are available in areas with the fewest 
people, i.e., the North Coastal area and the 
Sacramento Basin. As California has grown, its 
surface water systems have been expanded to 
large-scale transfer systems, involving the storage 
and transportation of water almost the entire 
length of the State. 

A major water problem today is the main- 
tenance of a proper balance between the use of the 
State's water resources and protection and en- 
hancement of the environment. In the past, such 
environmental benefits as scenic and cultural re- 

sources and the preservation of aesthetic areas, 
including open and green space, wild rivers, lakes, 
beaches, fish and wildlife, mountains and wilder- 
ness regions, have not always been included in 
water projects. Equally important is the protection 
of areas of archaeological, historical, or scientific 
value. Many such benefits are difficult to measure 
because they cannot be assigned a monetary value, 
and the present technique of cost and benefit 
analysis is, in this respect, inadequate. Accordingly, 
future water development planning must be broad- 
ened to include more thoughtful consideration and 
evaluation of environmental and ecological effects. 

State Responsibility for Water Development 

The State's responsibility for the development 
and use of California's water resources is set forth 
in various sections of the California Water Code. 
Section 10005 of the Water Code establishes the 
California Water Plan as a flexible pattern for the 
development of the State's water resources — not 
as a restrictive or all-inclusive plan, but one into 
which new ideas and new technologies may be 
incorporated as changing conditions dictate. 

Section 10005 of the Water Code also assigns 
the Department of Water Resources the responsi- 
bility for updating and supplementing the Cali- 
fornia Water Plan as required by changing circum- 
stances. To carry out this responsibility, the 
Department of Water Resources maintains a state- 
wide planning program, which guides the selection 
of the most favorable pattern for the use of the 
State's water resources, considering all reasonable 
alternative courses of action. Such alternatives are 
evaluated on the basis of both technical feasibility 
and economic, social, and institutional factors. 


Periodic reassessment of existing and future 
demands for water and the need for flood 
control, hydroelectric power, recreation, 
benefits for fish and wildlife. 

Periodic reassessment of local water resources 
and the magnitude and timing of the need for 
additional water supplies that cannot be 
provided locally. 

Determination of various alternative sources 
of water — dams and reservoirs, ground water, 
desalting, reclaimed water, weather modifi- 
cation — to meet future demands in areas of 
water deficiency. 

Determination of the need for protection and 
preservation of water resources in keeping 
with the protection and enhancement of the 

Evaluation of water development plans. 

Water Resources Management and 
the Environment 

Today, the State's concern includes assurance 
that its citizens may enjoy the beauty of Cali- 
fornia's environment and that the quality of the 
environment may be protected and enhanced as 
the State continues to grow. Planning for water 
development is a critical element in environmental 
protection because of the direct effect of large- 
scale water projects on the environment. Water 
development relates not only to the physical and 
natural ecosystem but also to the social, cultural, 
and economic aspects of environment, and it must 
be considered in terms of these effects, both 
beneficial and adverse, on the total environment. 

Recent events have shown that social objectives 
considered desirable by society are changing. Ob- 
viously, certain objectives desired by the public 
may not be consistent with the most economical 
use of resources. The public interest in environ- 
mental quality, healthful ecology, and aesthetics 
implies a willingness to spend money in a way that 
may not necessarily be the most economically 
efficient. However, the extent of the public com- 
mitment to an improved environment has not been 
clearly defined. 

Nevertheless, planners are confronted with the 
need to develop new philosophies, new concepts, 
new methodologies, and new techniques. The rapid 
advance of technology has opened up the possi- 
bilities of new alternative approaches to water 
development, and the increasing public concern 
with the environment demands the development of 
new and more refined methods of evaluating the 
environmental benefits and detriments of specific 

The Department of Water Resources is broaden- 
ing its own planning processes through the in- 
creased use of systems analysis to include a wider 
range of development alternatives. Simply stated, 
systems analysis is a method for evaluating a lai^ge 
number of alternatives, from the standpoint of 
both monetary and nonmonetary values, and de- 
ciding among them. In cooperation with federal 
agencies, universities, and other groups, the Depart- 
ment of Water Resources is continuously seeking 
better methods of evaluation. However, the devel- 
opment of improved methods presents many other 
problems involving new and highly complex con- 
cepts — perhaps even technologies yet to be 

State and Federal Environmental Legislation 

Both the California Legislature and the National 
Congress have declared the 1970s to be "the 
decade of the environment". In California, this has 
resulted in the reorientation of legislative com- 

mittees to provide a closer look at environmental 
issues and in a substantial number of legislative 
proposals. At the federal level a number of 
important acts requiring state cooperation have 
emerged. Two of the most important new federal 
laws affecting California are the National Environ- 
mental Policy Act of 1969 and the Wild and Scenic 
Rivers Act of 1968. 

The National Environmental Policy Act declares 
a national policy that will encourage productive 
harmony between man and his environment; to 
promote efforts that will prevent or eliminate 
damage to the environment and biosphere, and 
stimulate the health and welfare of man; and to 
enrich the understanding of the ecological systems 
and natural resources important to the Nation. 

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act sets forth the 
basic principle that certain rivers of the Nation 
which, "with their immediate environments, pos- 
sess outstanding, remarkable, scenic, recreation, 
geologic, fish and wild-life, historic, cultural and 
other similar values", are to be preserved in a 
free-flowing condition and protected for the enjoy- 
ment of present and future generations. The Act 
establishes the Wild and Scenic Rivers System 
consisting of eight initial rivers, including the 
Middle Fork of the Feather River in California, and 
identifies 27 other rivers that may be added to the 

Several bills concerning the environment have 
been passed recently by the California Legislature. 
In addition, in January of 1970, the Legislature 
appointed the Assembly Select Committee on 
Environmental Quality to study environmental 

The California Protected Waterways Act of 1968 
declares it a state policy to conserve those water- 
ways "possessed of extraordinary scenic, fishery, 
wildlife, or outdoors recreation values." The Act 
requii'es the State Resources Agency to prepare a 
plan to this effect and to report to the Legislature 
in January of 1971. The Act defines waterways as 
"the waters and adjacent lands of streams, chan- 
nels, lakes, reservoirs, bays, estuaries, marshes, 
wetlands, and lagoons". 

The Environmental Quality Act of 1970 (A.B. 
2045) requires state, federal, and local agencies to 
include detailed statements of environmental in- 
formation in all reports on proposed projects. In 
addition, the bill requii'es state agencies to include 
funds to protect the environment in all budgetry 

Assembly Bill 2070, enacted as Chapter 1534, 
Statutes of 1970, established a new Office of 
Planning and Research in the Governor's office to 
help the Governor develop and achieve environ- 
mental goals. The new office will evaluate the plans 
of all state agencies and recommend new policies, 
programs, and actions that will resolve conflicts 
and advance statewide environmental goals. 


Progress in Water Resources Development 

Over the past 30 years, local water agencies have 
invested some $4 billion in surface and ground 
water projects. Although the State Water Project 
and the federal Central Valley Project, both of 
which involve large interbasin transfers of water, 
are more widely known, the efforts of local 
agencies have long predominated water develop- 
ment in California. Plate 1 (page 22) shows 
features of the State Water Project and federal and 
local projects that have been completed or are 
under construction. 

Since 1966, local agencies have invested more 
than $1 billion in water development and distribu- 
tion systems. California has invested $1.4 billion in 
the State Water Project, and the Federal Govern- 
ment has expended some $400 million on the 
Central Valley Project and on consei"vation and 
flood-control facilities developed by the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers. The development of Cali- 
fornia's water resources in an orderly, progressive 
manner wOl require the continuous effort of all 
levels of government. However, State projects, and 
those of federal agencies, wOl continue to supple- 
ment local water developments, fulfilling only the 
needs that local governments cannot provide for. 

Local Water Development 

During the past four years, local agencies have 
completed, or begun construction of, 35 projects. 
Major projects completed since 1966 are listed in 
the following table: 


Stream System 


New Bullards Bar 

North Yuba River 

Yuba County Water 

New Exchequer 

Merced River 

Merced Irrigation 



Hell Hole 

Rubicon River 

Placer County Water 


Arroyo Grande 


San Luis Obispo 
County Flood 
Control and 
Water Conserva- 
tion District 

New Don Pedro 

Tuolumne River 

City and County 
of San Francisco; 
and Turlock and 
Modesto Irriga- 
tion Districts 

In addition, several major aqueduct and distri- 
bution systems have been completed or are under 
construction. The City of Los Angeles has com- 
pleted a second pipeline of the Los Angeles 
Aqueduct, which transports water some 250 miles 
to the city from the Owens River. The Metropoli- 
tan Water District of Southern California is con- 
structing a major distribution system to deliver 
water from the State Water Project to member 

agencies. In addition, several water districts in the 
San Joaquin Valley have completed, or are con- 
structing, distribution systems to deliver imported 
water to individual users. In eastern Kern County, 
the Arvin-Edison Water Storage District has com- 
pleted a major system for distribution of water 
from the Central Valley Project. Agencies on the 
west side of the San Joaquin Valley are construct- 
ing similar facilities for distribution of water from 
the State Water Project. 

Federal Water Projects 

Since 1966, the United States Bureau of Recla- 
mation has completed the joint federal-state San 
Luis Dam and Pumping Plant and has begun 
construction of .several other additions to the 
Central Valley Project. These include (1) the 
Tehama-Colusa Canal, (2) the San Felipe Division, 
(3) the Auburn-Folsom South Unit, and (4) the 
San Luis Drain. The Central Valley Project is now 
delivering some six million acre-feet of water to 
local agencies. Hydroelectric capacity exceeds 
1,500,000 kilowatts, almost 85 percent of the 
presently authorized capacity. The Bureau of 
Reclamation has also completed Stampede Reser- 
voir on the Little Truckee River. 

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has begvm 
construction of six important projects. These are: 


Stream System 

New Melones 

Stanislaus River 

Warm Springs 


Sonoma) Russian River 

(Dry Creek) 


Truckee River 

(Martis Creek) 


Mojave River 


Fresno River 


Chowchilla River 1 

Projects authorized by the federal Flood Con- 
trols Acts of 1966 and 1968 include Marysville 
Reservoir on the Yuba River, Knights Valley 
Reservoir in the Russian River Basin, and Butler 
Valley Reservoir on the Mad River in Humboldt 

State Water Project 

The State Water Project — designated in the 
California Water Plan as the initial unit for State 
construction — is now delivering water to public 
agencies in nine counties in Central and Northern 
California. When in full operation, the Project will 
supply water to 31 water service agencies in the 
Feather River area, San Joaquin Valley, San 
Francisco Bay area, Central Coastal area, and 
Southern California. 

Construction of the State Water Project is on 
schedule. More than 95 percent of the initial 
facilities required for deliveries to water-deficient 
areas of California have been completed or are 


under contract. Project water is now being deliv- 
ered in the Sacramento Valley, the San Francisco 
Bay area, and the San Joaquin Valley. The first 
delivery to Southern California is scheduled for 

In December of 1970, the California Aqueduct 
was operational from Clifton Court Forebay, at the 

southern edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin 
Delta, to Wind Gap Pumping Plant some 280 miles 
further south. Project water will begin crossing the 
Tehachapi Mountains in 1971. The contract for 
construction of Perris Dam and reservoir in River- 
side County has been awarded, and the Perris 
facilities are scheduled for completion in 1973. 


In 1966, the Department of Water Resources 
began a four-year study and analysis of the 
long-term demand for water in each of the 11 
hydrologic study areas shown in Figure 1. As a 
basis for long-range planning to satisfy future water 
requirements, these demands have been projected 
to 1990 and 2020. This projected increase in the 
demand for water is directly related to the growth 
of California's population, industry, and irrigated 

Population and Economic Growth 

Population Changes 

The size and distribution of population is a 
major factor in estimating requirements for future 
water service. Between 1940 and 1970, California's 
population grew from less than 7 million to almost 

20 million. Continued growth at a similar rate 
would result in a state population of 40 million by 
1990 and more than 60 million by the turn of the 
century. However, reductions in both birth rates 
and migration into California during the last ten 
years suggest a lower rate of increase. 

In 1967, the U. S. Bureau of Census, published 
new population projections for the entire Nation. 
In Table 1 the 1967 figures are shown as Series A 
(highest rate of increase) through Series D (lowest 
rate). In 1970, the Census Bureau revised its 
estimates, dropping Series A as unrealistically high 
and adding Series E, the lowest reasonable rate of 
increase, representing an almost stable rate of 
growth. Series D appears to be a reasonable rate of 
growth and was used by the State Department of 
Finance for its recent projections of California's 
future growth through 2000. For Bulletin 160-70, 
the Department of Water Resources has extended 
these Series D projections through 2020. 

Table 1 . United States and California Population Projections, 1980 through 2020 

U.S. Population (millions) 


Population (millions) 


1980 1990 




1990 2000 



240 286 
237 277 
232 266 
228 255 
226 248 




32.8 41.0 
31.8 38.9 
30.4 36.4 
29.0 33.9 
28.3 32.1 


The projections of California's future growth 
shown in Table 1 reflect the progressive drop in 
annual net migration rates. In 1957, the year of 
maximum net migration, 388,000 moved into the 
Golden State. By 1969, the number of migrants 
had declined to some 105,000. However, for the 
recent long-range forecasts in Table 1, the State 
Department of Finance assumed an annual net 
migration rate of 200,000. 

On the basis of these lowered rates of birth and 
net migration, the State's population would in- 
crease from the 1970 total of about 20 million to 
about 29 million in 1990 and 45 million in 2020. 
Figure 3 shows the growth of statewide population 
from 1940 through 1970 and the projected growth 
through 2020. The projections indicate an average 
statewide gi'owth rate of about 1.75 percent per 
year as compared with an average annual increase 
of 3.5 percent between 1940 and 1970. 


Figure 3. Historical and Projected Population Growth, 1940-2020. 

The Department of Water Resources has also 
distributed the projected population growth among 
the 11 hydrologic study areas, as shown in Table 2. 
These projections show further increases in the 
population of each hydrologic area. Areas with 
large populations, which have experienced the 
largest growth during the past 30 years, are 
expected to record the largest growth in the future. 

Table 2. Projected California Population by Hydrologic Study 
Area, 1967-2020 (in thousands) 

Study Area 




North Coastal 




San Francisco Bay 




Central Coastal 




South Coastal 




Sacramento Basin 




Delta-Central Sierra 




San Joaquin Basin 




Tulare Basin 




North Lahontan 




South Lahontan 




Colorado Desert 







Population trends have also reflected the migra- 
tion from rural to urban areas over the past 30 

years. If present trends continue, most of the 
future population growth will occur in California's 
expanding cities. This concentration of urban 
population has already led to various problems; 
two of the most pressing are congestion and 
pollution — of water and the atmosphere. Cali- 
fornia is studying these problems associated with 
population concentration, and future state policies 
might result in a redistribution of people. In the 
final section of this bulletin ("Population Dispersal 
and its Effect on Resources Development"), this 
concept is explored in more detail. 

Industrial Growth 

Employment in California is expected to grow at 
much the same rate as population, resulting in 
about four million more workers by 1990. At the 
same time, categories of employment will continue 
to change. Technological changes will bring a 
decline in on-farm employment, while other re- 
source-based industries, such as mining, forestry, 
and fisheries, may gain slightly. Manufacturing jobs 
will increase by some 700,000 over the next 25 
years, but in response to the demands of an 
expanding and affluent society, the largest gains 
are expected in the service and government cate- 

Industries requiring large quantities of water will 
reflect this general growth. One such industry is 
the electric power industry. Estimates of future 
demands for electric power, based on growing 
household and industrial needs, indicate that gen- 
erating requirements wOl grow from 32,100 mega- 
watts in 1970 to 110,000 megawatts in 1990 and 
412,000 megawatts in 2020. 

Until recently, almost all the electric power used 
in California was produced by hydroelectric plants, 
where the energy of falling water is converted into 
electrical energy. Since about 1950, however, other 
sources of electrical energy have become increas- 
ingly important. 

During the next 50 years, most additional 
hydroelectric power will be generated by pumped- 
storage plants. In a pumped-storage plant, low-cost 
energy is used during periods of minimum demand 
to pump water from a lower to an upper reservoir. 
When additional power is required during periods 
of peak demand, the water is returned from the 
upper to the lower reservoir through a pumping- 
generating plant, thus producing high-value elec- 
trical energy. 

As the demands for power continue to grow 
between now and 2020, increasing amounts of 
electrical energy will be produced by steam-electric 
plants, most of which will be fueled by thermal 
energy. Whereas the use of fossil fuels predomi- 
nates at the present time, thermonuclear plants are 
expected to supply almost 80 percent, or more 




100 - 




Figure 4. Projected Growth of Electrical Energy by Primary Source. 

than 300,000 megawatts, of the total power 
requirements in 2020. Figure 4 shows the present 
output and projected growth of primary sources of 
electrical energ>' over the next 50 years. 

Irrigated Agriculture 

Future demands for food and fibre are directly 
related to the growth of national population, per 
capita consumption, and export markets. Because 
most of California's cash crops receive nationwide 
distribution, national population trends were used 
for estimates of future farm production. 

The value of agricultural products in California 
is expected to increase from slightly over $4 billion 
in 1969 to $5'/2 billion by 1980. At the same time, 
agriculture will face a number of problems during 
the 1970's, including a squeeze on prices caused by 
over production of some commodities, rising pro- 
duction costs, increasing taxes, and a highly com- 
petitive market for credit. And, as the cities 
continue to expand, urban encroachment on agri- 
cultural land will also continue. All in all, a trend 
toward more efficient farms will undoubtedly 

As shown in Figure 5, the estimated increase in 
irrigated acreage over the next 50 years is consider- 
ably lower than the actual increase between 1930 
and 1970. The Department of Water Resources has 
projected this decline in the gi'owth of irrigated 
lands on the basis of (1) continued improvements 
in crop yield, enabling increased production on less 
acreage, and (2) the lowered projections of popu- 
lation growth. 

Land Use 

Land use is related to water requii-ements in a 
number of important ways. The use and manage- 
ment of land affects both the quantity and quality 
of runoff and the location and magnitude of water 
uses. In California, a large percentage of water is 
used for agriculture. Meanwhile, the rapid gi'owth 
of cities requires increasing amounts of water for 
homes and industry and for the disposal of wastes. 
Thus, as the uses of land change, so do the 
requirements for water. 

Since 1950, an average of 30 to 40 thousand 
acres has been required each year for the growth of 
cities. New agricultural lands must be developed to 



1930 1940 


Figure 5. Historical and Projected Growth 
of Net Irrigated Acreage, 1930-2020. 

replace those taken over by this continuous urban 
expansion. At present, California has some 22.5 
million acres of irrigable land.* About 8.5 million 
acres ai"e currently under irrigation, and 2.3 million 
acres are occupied by cities. Figure 6 shows the 
projected changes in land use in California between 
1967 and 2020. 

Although nearly 11 million acres of irrigable, 
but nonirrigated, land will still be available in 
2020, in certain areas, such as the Central Valley, 
most of the best agricultural land will have been 
put under cultivation. In the Tulare and San 
Joaquin Basins, an estimated 72 percent of the 
total irrigable land will have been developed. The 
percentage is lower in the Sacramento Basin and 
Central Sierra regions. In prime agricultural areas in 
Yolo, Butte, and Sutter Counties, irrigated acreage 
is expected to peak about 1990 and then decline 
somewhat due to urban expansion. 

In some parts of the State, the development of 
irrigable lands would not be feasible. For example, 
cultivation of South Lahontan desert lands would 
be highly unlikely due to the scarcity of low-cost 
water in that area. In certain other areas, soil and 
climate limit the capacity to produce crops that 
would justify the expense of the required water 

Water Demands 

Projected requirements for water are derived 
from estimated demands for the products and 
services available through the use of water. The 
accuracy of such projections depends on such 
factors as technological change, relative costs of 
water, population growth and shifts, and other 
varying factors. The projected statewide demands 
in this report were derived as the products of 

Irrigated acreage and land that could be developed for 



















Figure 6. Projected Changes in Land Use, 1967-2020. 


estimated population and economic growth and 
appropriate water use factors. The results of the 
four-year study of water use in each hydrologic 
area indicate that by 2020, the statewide net 
demand for water will increase by more than 11 
million acre-feet from the present estimated 28.6 
million acre-feet. The projected growth in state- 
wide water demands is shown in Figure 7. The 
water uses contributing to this projected increase 
are briefly discussed in the paragraphs that follow. 
In this summary, water requirements are general- 
ly discussed as net demands, as opposed to applied 
demands. Applied water demands are the quanti- 
ties of water that must be made available at 
individual places of use, e.g., to a farmer's headgate 
for irrigation or to a meter for domestic or 
industrial use. The net water demand is the total 
amount that must actually be delivered to satisfy 
the need in a given area. Because some water may 
be reused, the net demand for a given area is 
generally lower than individual applied demands. 

Cities and Industry 

Urban demands include water for household use, 
industry, fire protection, and the irrigation of 
lawns, gardens, and parks. On the basis of recent 
population projections, statewide net urban water 
demands are expected to increase from 3.7 million 
acre-feet in 1967 to 6.4 million acre-feet in 1990, 
and to 10.3 mUlion acre-feet in 2020. 

In most areas of California, per capita use, or 
average water used per person, is expected to 
increase slightly; past trends indicate that individ- 
ual use tends to increase with a rising standard of 
living. However, other factors point to only a 
modest increase in per capita use. For one thing, as 
population densities increase, lawn and garden 
areas will decrease, thus reducing water use outside 
of homes. 

Urban water use will continue to vary consider- 
ably from city to city and region to region. As 
shown in Table 3, per capita use values are similar 






24 4 








Figure 7 Projected Growth of Net Water Demands, 1967-2020. 




1 1 URBAN 



/ 2 "/o 


X / 2%' 


/ .. 


26% \ 

1 k 

\ 85% 

/ \ 80% / 

\ 72% 






Figure 8. Proportionate Growth of Net Water Demands, 1967-2020. 

in areas with similar climates (e.g., the San Fran- 
cisco Bay and Central Coastal areas). The values 
also show that individual water use tends to 
increase in arid and semiarid areas. 

Table 3. Projected Urban Per Capita Water Use by Hydrologic 
Study Area, 1967-2020 (gallons per day) 

Study Area 




North Coastal ' 




San Francisco Bay 




Central Coastal 




South Coastal 




Sacramento Basin' 




Delta-Central Sierra' 




San Joaquin Basin 




Tulare Basin 




North Lahontan 

Per capita values not 


South Lahontan 

280 320 


Colorado Desert 

380 400 


' Water demands for pulp ar 

d paper industry not inci 


Values are for valley flo 

or only. Recreational an 

d second- 

home use in Sierra foothill 

s not included. 

Increases in industrial water use may be affected 
by increased pollution controls and rising water 
costs. As local governments effect more stringent 
regulations for the disposal of effluents, industries 
may tend to reduce their water intake. Increasing 
water costs and improved reclamation techniques 
will encourage economy and the reuse of waste 

Large quantities of water will be required for 
cooling steam-electric power plants. A 1,000- 
megawatt nuclear steam-electric plant, which will 
produce sufficient power to meet demands in a 
metropolitan area of about 600,000 persons, re- 
quires a flow of cooling water of about 1,500 cubic 
feet per second. 

Once-through cooling, in which water is run 
through the plant condensers and returned to its 
source, is the most economical cooling process. 
However, the once-through process requires a large 
source of water and is practical only at coastal 
sites, where sea water is available. At inland 
locations, where fresh water is recirculated through 
cooling towers, a 1,000-megawatt nuclear steam- 
electric plant in continuous operation would con- 
sume about 20,000 acre-feet of water annually. 

Current plans of the electric power industry 
indicate that most steam-electric plants will be 
located along the coast. However, if coastal sites 
are unavailable and inland plants are constructed, 
requirements for cooling water would substantially 
increase future water demands. 

The significance of the projected growth in 
urban water demands is shown in Figure 8. 
Comprising only 13 percent of total statewide 
demands in 1967, urban demands will account for 
18 percent in 1990 and 26 percent in 2020. Of the 
projected 11 -million acre-foot rise in total net 
water demands between 1967 and 2020, about 60 
percent may be attributed to population and 
related growth. 



Despite the rapid growth of urban areas in 
California, water for agriculture accounted for 85 
percent of the statewide total demands in 1967 
(Figure 8). Although that proportion will decline 
to 72 percent by 2020, water for agricultural uses 
will continue to predominate. Net water demands 
for agricultural water are expected to rise from 
24.4 million acre-feet in 1967 to 27.4 million 
acre-feet in 1990 and to 28.7 million acre-feet in 

Net water demands for irrigated agriculture are 
derived as the product of the estimated acreage 
required for vai'ious crops and appropriate unit 
water use values. As is true of urban demands, 
agricultural demands vary from area to area, 
depending on climate, soU, and length of irrigation 
season. Little change in unit water use values is 
expected between now and 2020. Those that do 
occur will result largely from changes in cropping 
pattern rather than from changes in water use by 
individual crops. 

Recreation, Fish, and Wildlife 

Possibly 60 percent of all outdoor recreation in 
California is dependent on water. Swimming, fish- 
ing, boating, water skiing, along with camping, 
picnicking and hiking, accounted for some 218 
million visitor days at state facilities in 1960. The 
use of such facilities is expected to increase to 
some 1.5 billion visitor days by 1990 and to a 
possible 2.5 billion by 2020. 

Both the State and Federal Governments regard 
recreation, along with the protection of fish and 
wildlife, as important features of water develop- 
ment projects. In California, the Davis-Dolwig Act 
declares recreation, and the enhancement of fish- 
eries and wildlife habitat, to be one of the purposes 
of state water projects. The Act states that 
reasonable action to preserve fish and wildlife must 
be taken. 

Recreation Financing. In November of 1970, the 
California electorate approved an amendment to 
the Davis-Dolwig Act. The new amendment pro- 
vides for $60 million in general obligation bonds to 
finance the design and construction of features for 
the enhancement of recreation, fisheries, and wild- 
life habitat at facilities of the State Water Project. 
The amendment also creates a "Recreation Fish 
and Wildlife Enhancement Committee" consisting 
of the Governor, the State Controller, the Director 
of Finance, the State Treasurer, and the Secretary 
for Resources. 

The new legislation allocates $54 million to the 
Department of Parks and Recreation, who will 
design and construct new recreation facilities, and 
$6 million to the Department of and Game 

for fish and wildlife features. The Department of 
Water Resources estimates that new recreation 
facilities constructed during the next 5 to 7 years 
will accommodate an additional 16 million visitors. 
The funds allocated to the Depai"tment of Fish and 
Game are specifically intended for the expansion 
of trout hatcheries and warm water fisheries, along 
with the provision of access to fishing sites. 

The new facilities are to be constructed at 17 
State Water Project reservoirs and at sites along 
some 500 miles of streams and canals. The tenta- 
tive schedule of expenditures for the next five 
years includes $8 million for facilities in Northern 
California, $4.5 million in Central California, and 
$42 million in Southern California. 

Lack of financing has long been a major obstacle 
to California's objective of providing the maximum 
possible recreational opportunites. The Davis- 
Dolwig Act declares that the costs of features that 
will enhance fisheries, wildlife habitat, and recrea- 
tion areas at state water projects must be non- 
reimbursable; other water project costs, except for 
those allocated to flood control, must be repaid by 
water and power users. 

Fish and Wildlife Planning. Section 233 of the 
California Water Code and the Davis Dolwig Act 
prescribe that fish and wildlife be given equal 
consideration with other purposes of proposed 
water projects. Projected planning by the Depart- 
ment of Water Resources includes (1) assessments 
of the effects of proposed projects on fish and 
wildlife, and (2) recommendations of measures 
required for the preservation and enhancement of 
fisheries and wildlife habitats. 

In most pai'ts of California, various public and 
private agencies have signed agi-eements with the 
State Department of Fish and Game to ensure that 
streamflows and reser\'oir levels will protect and 
improve fisheries and wildlife preserves. These 
agreements are summarized in Table 4. Although 
these streamflows ai'e shown as specifically re- 
quired for fish, wildlife, and recreation use, the 
water is not consumed and is available for other 
downstream uses. 

Table 4. Streamflow Maintenance Agreements by Hydrologic 
Study Area (acre-feet) 

Study Area 

Annual Allocation 

Sacramento Ba.sin 3,900,000 

Delta-Central Sierra 14,000 

San Joaquin 258,000 

Tulare Basin 11 4,000 

North Coastal 677,000 

San Francisco 11 5,000 

Central Coastal 22,000 

North Lahontan 54,000 

South Lahontan 54,000 

Based on normal-year runoff. Releases may be substantially 
lower where agreements provide for the alternative release of 
natural flows in lieu of a stipulated flow. 


Prevention of Flood Damage 

Despite the extensive construction of flood- 
control works over many years in California, flood 
damage occurs almost every year as a result of the 
State's continuous growth and occupation of 
floodplains. All levels of government are responsi- 
ble to some degree for prevention of flood damage. 
However, since passage of the federal Flood Con- 
trol Act of 1936, the U. S. Army Corps of 
Engineers has dominated the planning and con- 
struction of flood-control structures, with state 
financial aid for the costs of land, easements, and 
rights-of-way. The mitigation of urban flood drain- 
age problems is the responsibility of local agencies. 

A recent state-federal cooperative study of 
regional water problems* indicates that flood 
damage in California, which averages about $100 
million annually, may increase to an annual average 
of $160 million by 1980 unless additional control 
measures are taken. This suggests the need for a 
vigorous flood control program and a more bal- 
anced approach to the mitigation of future flood 
damage by all levels of government. Such a 
program should include both structural and non- 
structural measures and remain sufficiently flexible 
to reflect changing land use programs and concepts 
of environmental control. In this direction, the 
Cobey-Alquist Flood Plain Management Act of 
1965 directs local governments to regulate flood- 
plains prior to the construction of projects as a 
condition to receiving state financial aid. 

The planning of future flood control measures 
should include increased attention to the desires of 
beneficiaries for environmental enhancement. This 
suggest a responsibility on the part of local 
beneficiaries to become more involved in the 
planning and selection of such measiures and in 
financial participation where costs are involved. 

Water Quality 

Water quality is a critical element in all plans for 
future water needs. The increasing emphasis on 
quality and the growing concern with the rapidly 
mounting pollution problem have stimulated 
heightened efforts to preserve existing good water 
quality and, in some cases, to restore or enhance 
polluted water. The abstract term quality takes on 
specific meaning when associated with a specific 
water use, e.g., drinking, industry, agriculture, 
recreation, fish and wildlife protection, etc. 

Standards for drinking water, as established by 
the U. S. Public Health Service, specify the limits 
for bacteriological, physical, radiological, and 
chemical constituents in a given water supply. 

California Region Federal-State 
Study. A report on these studies 

Comprehensive Krainework 
ill be published in June of 

Quality standards for industrial use vary with the 
type of process. In general, however, water suitable 
for drinking would be suitable for most industrial 

Quality standards for irrigation water vary with 
the type of crop, soil and drainage conditions, 
climate, and the method of irrigation. The content 
of dissolved minerals in agricultural water signifi- 
cantly affects the amount of water needed for 
proper drainage. As irrigation water evaporates and 
is consumed by plants, the salts left behind must 
be leached from the soil and carried off in drainage 
water. In general, the lower the dissolved mineral 
content, the lower the requirements for leaching 
water and the greater the possibility of reusing the 
drainage return water. 

In recreation areas, the clarity, color, tempera- 
ture, and bacterial content of water are especially 
important, particularly where there is swimming. 
The water must be free from oil, foam, debris, and 
unpleasant odors. Suitable environments for fish 
and wildlife require control of dissolved oxygen, 
temperature, turbidity, and toxic materials. Suc- 
cessful propagation of fish requires the absence of 
bottom deposits and a careful selection of tempera- 
ture levels for optimum spawning conditions. 

In some instances, water of good quality may be 
blended with highly mineralized water to improve 
its quality. Many areas in California contain poor- 
quality or brackish ground water, some of which 
has been abandoned and is virtually unused. Two 
examples of such areas are the lower San Dieguito 
and lower San Diego River Valleys. Possibly, the 
poor-quality water found there could be blended 
with high-quality water from Northern California 
to produce acceptable domestic supplies at a 
reasonable cost. 

A function of the State Water Project is to 
provide high-quality water in the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta and to protect the western Delta 
channels against the intrusion of salt water from 
San Francisco Bay. Releases of good-quality water 
from Lake Oroville, which reach the Delta via the 
Sacramento River, help with this important control 

State Water Resources Control Board 

A growing concern with the deterioration of 
water quality in California's lakes and rivers has 
resulted in several recent legislative actions to 
strengthen the state water quality programs. In 
1967, the Legislature established the State Water 
Resources Control Board, whose responsibilities 
include the control and prevention of water pollu- 
tion and the preservation of water quality. 

The State Board guides nine Regional Water 
Quality Control Boards. This enables water quality 
control to be administered locally but within a 


framework of statewide coordination and policy. 
Each of the regional boards, with boundaries 
generally corresponding to the nine watersheds of 
the State, is a local regulatory agency and may plan 
and administer water quality regulations geared to 
the specific problems of a single region. 

Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act 

The authority of the State Water Resources 
Control Board and the regional boards was sub- 
stantially increased when the Porter-Cologne Water 
Quality Control Act became law on January 1, 
1970. This act not only completely revises Cali- 
fornia's water pollution and water quality control 
laws but also enables the State Board to Carry out 
water quality objectives through its water rights 

The new law expands the term beneficial uses* 
of California's water to include aesthetic enjoy- 
ment along with the preservation of fish and 
wildlife and the enhancement of their habitats. The 
addition of these water uses, permitting more 
stringent regulation of water and waste disposal, 
recognizes the new environmental awareness and 
the increasing concern with California's aquatic 

The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act 
provides that all activities affecting the waters of 
California shall be so regulated to attain the highest 
reasonable water quality — considering all demands 
on those waters and the total values involved. 
Thus, the Act provides a stronger basis to ensure 
that California's water resources will serve the 
needs of California's citizens. 


For many yeai"s, California water needs have 
been met by the development of conventional 
water resources, i.e., the storage and diversion of 
surface water and the extraction of ground water. 
In addition, with the advancing technologies of the 
present era, other sources have begim to emerge as 
potential sources of water supply. The most prom- 
ising of these are: 

• Desalination, and 

• Reuse of waste water. 

The anticipated growth of California's water re- 
quirements indicates that eventually both of these, 
and possibly other, alternative sources of water 
may be needed. Future surface and ground water 
developments, along with the possible development 
of unconventional sources of water, are discussed 
in the following paragraphs. 

Surface Water Development 

The potential for additional development of 
major surface water supplies in California is largely 
confined to the Sacramento Basin and the North 
Coastal region. In the other hydrologic regions, 
available surface supplies from the principal river 
systems have been developed mainly by existing 
reservoirs, or will be developed by those under con- 

Division 7, Section 13050, of the California Water Code state.s 
tliat beneficial uses of water ". . . include, but are not necessarily 
limited to, domestic, municipal, agricultural and industrial sup 
ply; power generation, recreation; aesthetic enjoyment; naviga 
tion; and preservation and enhancement of fish, wildlife, and 
other aquatic resources or preserves". 

struction. A number of local surface water develop- 
ments in the smaller streams throughout the State 
are possible, particularly in the North San 
Francisco Bay area and in the Central Coastal 

The major remaining potential for the storage of 
local and exportable supplies in the Sacramento 
Basin lies within the watersheds of Thomes-Stony 
Creeks and Cottonwood Creek. The latter is the 
largest unregulated tributary of the Sacramento 
River. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is pre- 
sently completing investigation of two multi- 
purpose reservoirs on the middle and south forks 
of Cottonwood Creek. These storage facilities 
could provide some 260,000 annual acre-feet for 
both local service and export. The two reservoirs 
could also provide flood protection enhancement 
of the spawning areas in the Cottonwood Creek 

The U. S. Bureau of Reclamation is studying a 
reservoir at the Paskenta-Newville site on Thomes 
and Stony Creeks. This potential facility, operated 
in coordination with the Central Valley Project and 
the State Water Project, could develop up to 
300,000 annual acre-feet for local service and ex- 
port. The Department of Water Resources has 
studied Rancheria Reservoir on Stony Creek, 
which could provide additional storage, either as an 
independent project or with a diversion from the 
Middle Fork Eel River. 

The flows of the North Coastal Rivers are largely 
unconserved; studies by the Depiulment of Water 


Resources indicate that some 10 to 12 million 
acre-feet per year could be developed within the 
North Coastal area. However, the studies have also 
shown that serious hazards to fisheries and wildlife 
resources could be created by such developments, 
particularly by the construction of large storage 
facilities in the lower Klamath River Basin. 

In 1968, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers 
proposed Dos Rios Dam and Reservoir on the Eel 
River in Mendocino County as the best solution for 
local flood control and for the conveyance of sur- 
plus water from the Middle Fork Eel River to the 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. However, construc- 
tion of the dam would have flooded Round Valley, 
including the town of Covelo and an Indian reser- 
vation. In response to the wishes of local residents 
and other concerned groups. Governor Reagan re- 
quested that the Department of Water Resources 
study alternative proposals for a project to con- 
serve Eel River water. These alternatives were sub- 
sequently presented in Department of Water Re- 
sources Bulletin No. 172 in December 1969. 

The Bureau of Reclamation has also studied 
direct diversion of water from the Klamath River 
Basin. Because direct diversion would not require 
reservoirs on the main stem of the Klamath, it 
probably would be the least disruptive to fisheries 
and the wildlife environment in the Basin. Similar 
studies of direct diversion from the Trinity River 
to hold-over storage in the Sacramento Valley are 
also being studied by the Bureau of Reclamation. 
Although direct diversion through large tunnels 
would probably be more costly than on-stream 
storage, it may enable the export of nonbeneficial 
flood flows with the least disruption of the natural 
environment of both the Trinity and Klamath 
River Basins. 

In addition to on-stream developments, off- 
stream storage facilities could be developed in the 
Central Valley. Off stream storage consists of a di- 
version from a stream and conveyance to a site 
where adequate storage is available. Such off- 
stream reservoirs have been proposed for both the 
Sacramento Canal and the East Side Division of the 
Central Valley Project. Additional off-stream stor- 
age sites, to complement that provided at San Luis 
Reservoir, have been investigated along the Cali- 
fornia Aqueduct of the State Water Project. 

Ground Water Development 

Ground water, which today supplies about 40 
percent of California's water needs, has been used 
increasingly throughout the State for some 100 
years. This continuous use has affected the natural 

balance in many ground water basins. The most 
obvious effects are increased pump lifts and the 
drying up of some surface streams, ponds, and 
swampy areas. Less apparent effects found in some 
parts of the State include the intrusion of sea water 
into coastal aquifers, migration of poor-quality 
water to wells, and the subsidence of land surfaces. 
Assessments of ground water, and of the aqui- 
fers through which it moves, cannot be obtained 
by direct study and must be deduced from meas- 
urements of wells and from other hydrologic and 
geologic information. This is a long and costly pro- 
cess; in some instances, investigators have recom- 
mended decreases in ground water pumping or im- 
ports of surface supplies, or both, to stabilize 
pumping lifts. The successful results of such experi- 
ments have demonstrated that ground water is sub- 
ject to planned management. 

Availability of Ground Water 

Ground water can be obtained almost anywhere 
in California. Production rates vary from a few gal- 
lons per day to several thousand gallons per min- 
ute, depending on underground characteristics. The 
areas of occurrence of ground water in California 
are shown in Figure 9. 

Measures of availability of ground water in 
known ground water basins, i.e., basins that have 
been studied, are summarized in Table 5. These 
availabilities are presented in terms of (1) usable 
storage capacity, which denotes the portion of 
total storage capacity usable in conjunction with 
surface water sources to develop additional yield; 
and (2) annual primary rechai-ge, which is a meas- 
ure of the annual natural replenishment and the 
recharge accomplished by operation of local reser- 
voirs for detention and gradual release of water to 
augment natural stream channel percolation. 

Table 5. Ground water In California 
(1 COO'S of acre-feet) 


Known Ground Water Areas] 



North Coastal Area 
San Francisco Bay Area 
Central Coastal Area 
South Coastal Area 
Central Valley Area* 
Lahontan Area 
Colorado Desert 











* Combined areas of Sacramento Basin, Delta-Central Sierra 
area, San Joaquin Basin, and Tulare Basin. 






O C E 

V Cositos Res> 




-—- Mop^zRe^ irwircnen 

'jf^XNocimienty^-^S^i^^^i^ .A 
-* Res ^*( 


Santa Borbo'- 






Table 5 shows an estimated usable storage capa- 
city of about 123 million acre-feet, which is a 
measure of the operational storage capacity of the 
ground water basins. If more fully managed in co- 
ordination with surface water supplies, California's 
ground water basins offer promise of additional 
yield. In addition to the present primary' recharge, 
the state's ground water basins are receiving addi- 
tional water (1) incidental to the development and 
use of surface water, and (2) through operation of 
artificial recharge facilities. Thus, the availability of 
usable storage capacity may develop additional 
yield in conjunction with surface water sources. 

Ground Water Management 

Water can be regulated, conserved , and distri- 
buted in undergi'ound aquifer systems. Just as 
streamflow is stored in a surface reservoir, under- 
ground storage space can be used to capture and 
store surplus runoff for future use. In water-defi- 
cient areas, such as Southern California and the 
San Francisco Bay area, ground water storage capa- 
city may be used to provide terminal regulation for 
imported water supplies. Here, ground water stor- 
age capacity provides regulation of uniform 
deliveries to varying monthly demand schedules. In 
other water-deficient areas, e.g., the Tulare Basin, 
available ground water storage capacity could be 
used to regulate surplus water imported during 
years of surplus runoff for later local use and pos- 
sible export during subsequent drier periods, thus 
complementing off-stream storage in surface reser- 

In areas of adequate water supply served largely 
by surface diversions, ground water could be used 
during drier years to meet local needs, and the sur- 
face supplies could be used in other areas. This 
would require (1) adequate ground water pumping 
facilities for operation during drier years, and (2) a 
coordinated operation with surface storage faci- 
lities so that ground water could be replenished 
during subsequent wet years. Such a plan could be 
mutually advantageous to water users overlying 
ground water basins and those in more distant 
areas. However, such an arrangment would entail 
significant management and fiscal problems. 

Management of a ground water basin requires 
that a local agency be able to (1) use underground 
storage capacity to regulate local and imported sur- 
face water, (2) control sea water intrusion, (3) 
regulate extraction patterns, (4) finance needed 
facilities, and (5) distribute benefits equitably. All 
of these requirements involve substantial problems. 

Some local agencies have the power to create 
hydraulic barriers to sea water intrusion, but no 
local agency has the power to control extraction 
patterns, except through the pos.sible economic in- 
centive of a pump tax. A variety of financing meas- 

ures, ranging from direct taxation to a tax on 
pumped water, is available. 

Unfortunately, California's laws pertaining to 
the ownership of, or rights to, ground water stor- 
age capacity are unclear. A constitutional amend- 
ment may be needed to define these rights and, 
more particulai'ly, to define the right to withdraw 
water that has been conserved underground. 

A number of local agencies are striving for com- 
plete management of ground water basins through 
the construction of artificial recharge facilities, 
control of sea water intrusion, participation in 
management studies, and the exploration of 
needed legal changes. 


Desalted sea water offers promise of becoming a 
supplemental source of fresh water in certain areas 
of California, particularly in the Central and South 
Coastal areas, where alternative sources of supply 
are costly. Desalination could eventually reduce 
the need for additional imports of fresh water and 
could also be used to desalt mineralized waste 
water. As desalting techniques are improved and 
the costs are lowered, the feasibility of using de- 
salted water in California will increase. 

The Federal Government has been developing 
desalting technology since 1952, when the U. S. 
Congress passed the Saline Water Act. This Act 
provides for the development of a low-cost method 
for producing fresh water from sea water, or other 
saline water, on a scale sufficient to determine the 
feasibility of desalting as a source of water for the 
Nation. The term saline water includes sea water, 
brackish water, and other mineralized or chemi- 
cally charged water. 

Department of Water Resources Programs 

The Department of Water Resources began de- 
salting research in 1957. The following year, the 
Department began a program of close cooperation 
with the federal Office of Saline Water. In 1960, 
the California Legislature authorized funds for 
one-half the capital costs of a demonstration plant 
constructed by the Office of Saline Water at Point 
Loma near San Diego. In 1964, when the Point 
Loma plant was moved to the U. S. Naval Base 
near Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, California agreed to 
transfer its interest in the Point Loma Plant to the 
federal San Diego Test Facility, also constructed 
by the Office of Saline Water. As authorized by the 
Porter-Cobey Saline Water Conversion Act of 
1965, the Department of Water Resource con- 
structed the pipeline for deliver^' of water from the 
San Diego Test Facility to the city of San Diego. 
As of July 1970, the Department had delivered 
some 2,000 acre-feet, or about 650 million gallons, 
of fresh water for in that city. 






Figure 9. Areas of Ground Water Occurrence. 


California is also cooperating with the Federal 
Government in the development of a large-capacity 
prototype desalting plant with a unit capable of 
producing up to 50 million gallons of fresh water 
per day, or about 50,000 acre-feet per year. In May 
1970, the Department of Water Resources and the 
Office of Saline Water signed an agreement to be- 
gin studies of an appropriate site for the proposed 
plant. The Department estimates that about eight 
years will be required to select a water service area, 
to obtain the necessary legislative authorization, 
and to design and construct the plant. 

Participation in this prototype desalter program 
will provide the Department, and the public, valu- 
able information on (1) construction and operating 
costs of a large-scale desalting plant, (2) operation 
of a prototype desalter in conjunction with an elec- 
tric generation unit, (3) the best means of integrat- 
ing desalted water with other water supplies, and 
(4) possible environmental problems resulting from 
the return of warm sea water and brine to the 

Current Status and Costs of Desalting 

At the beginning of 1970, worldwide desalting 
capacity had increased from 60 million gallons per 
day in 1961 to about 310 million gallons per day. 
The projected capacity for 1975 is some 1,250 mil- 
lion gallons per day. 

Prior to 1967, the capacity of the largest single- 
unit desalter was about 1.7 million gallons per day. 
That year, a plant at Key West Florida with a daily 
capacity of about 2.6 million gallons, or 2,600 
acre-feet per year, began operation. Production 
costs at this plant are about 85 cents per thousand 
gallons, or $280 per acre-foot. Costs at a plant in 
Roserita Beach, Mexico, with an output of 7.5 mil- 
lion gallons per day, are about 67 to 75 cents per 
thousand gallons, or $210 to $245 per acre-foot. 

In 1969, Kuwait purchased five desalting units, 
each with a capacity of 6 million gallons per day. 
Estimated production costs for the plant which is 
expected to be operational in 1971, is about $100 
per acre-foot. However, in Kuwait, the cost of fuel 
is only about one-tenth that in California. When in 
operation, the Kuwait desalting plant will be the 
largest in the world. 

The Future of Desalting 

At the present time, most desalting plants obtain 
the required energy from fossil fuels. The costs of 
desalted water may be reduced when large-capacity 
nuclear desalting plants are constructed. However, 
the construction of large nuclear plants will involve 
a number of problems. 

To preclude the need for long-distance transpor- 
tation of the fresh water produced, the site must 

be close to the potential market for water. At the 
same time, operation of the plant must not ad- 
versely affect the environment of the surrounding 
air, land, or water. Finally, there is the need to 
dispose of the large amounts of brine produced by 
the desalting process. 

In a recent report on nuclear powerplants*, the 
California Resources Agency estimates that at least 
eight years will elapse between the initial planning 
of a nuclear powerplant and the actual completion 
of construction. Construction of a nuclear desalt- 
ing plant would involve about the same length of 
time. The same report states that the location and 
operation of nuclear plants must 

". . . enhance the public benefits and protect 
against or minimize adverse effects on the 
public, on the ecology of the land and its 
wildlife, and on the ecology of the State's 
waters and their aquatic life."t 
Perhaps another 20 to 30 years will be required 
before desalting technology is sufficiently im- 
proved to include desalination as a significant 
source of water supply. Furthermore, the problems 
briefly discussed in the preceding paragraphs will 
not be easily solved. However, the prospects for 
large-scale desalting as an alternative source of 
water in California are sufficiently promising to 
warrant additional research and development. 

Water Reclamation 

Section 230 of the California Water Code auth- 
orizes the Department of Water Resources to in- 
vestigate the feasibility of reclaiming water from 
domestic and industrial wastes. The reclamation 
and reuse of waste water presents a potential 
source of additional water supply in coastal metro- 
politan areas and is therefore a significant feature 
of the California Water Plan. In addition to pro- 
viding a supplementary source of fresh water, recla- 
mation reduces the amount of water that must be 
discharged, thus lowering the total costs of waste 
disposal. However, the increased use of reclaimed 
water would not eliminate the need for additional 
supplies of fresh water. About 50 percent of the 
total water supply in a given community is con- 
sumed and is therefore unavailable for reclamation. 
Figure 10 shows the quantities of municipal waste 
water discharged in coastal counties during 1968. 

Only a portion of the total waste water dis- 
charged can be reclaimed. In general, the percent- 
age that can be reclaimed is limited by (1) the 
quality of the waste water, (2) the cost of treat- 
ment, and (3) the cost of conveyance and distribu- 
tion in the area where the reclaimed water will be 

California Resources Agency. "Siting Thernia 
California". February 1970. pp VII- 17 ff. 

Ihid, Appendix 2. p. 1 . 



used. During 1970, about 8 percent of the 2 
million acre-feet of municipal waste water dis- 
charged in California was reclaimed and used for 
such purposes as irrigation, industrial cooling, re- 
charge of ground water basins, and creation of ar- 
tificial lakes. 

The concentration of dissolved minerals in waste 
water generally determines its suitablity for reuse. 
For most municipal, industrial, and irrigation uses, 
total dissolved solids must be less than 1,000 parts 
per million. In addition, water containing excessive 
chemicals, such as mercury, arsenic, cyanide, bor- 
on, phenols, nitrate, and other to.xic materials, is 
usually unsuitable for reclamation. 

The direct use of reclaimed water for domestic 
needs is limited by reservations concerning the cer- 
tainty of detecting and eliminating virus and other 
disease agents from waste water. Nitrogen content 
is another limiting factor. A high nitrate content in 
drinking water can produce illness, and even death, 
in infants. The U. S. Public Health Service has set 
the limits on nitrates in drinking water at 45 parts 
per million. For the present, therefore, the use of 
reclaimed water will probably continue to be re- 
stricted to irrigation, artificial lakes, and recharge. 

Four examples of the use of reclaimed water in 

California are briefly described in the table that 





Location Capacity per Day Use 

Golden Gate Park, 1 million gallons irrigation and 

San Francisco artificial lakes 

Whittier Narrows, 14 million gallons groundwater 

Los Angeles County recharge 

Santee Project, 4 million gallons irrigation and 

San Diego County artificial lakes 

Indian Creek 7.5 million gallons irrigation and 

Project, South recreation 
Lake Tahoe 

Figure 10, Discharge of Municipal Waste Water 
in Coastal Counties during 1968. 

In San Francisco, about 25 percent of the water 
needed for irrigation of the 1,017-acre Golden 
Gate Park is supplied by reclamation. The Whittier 
Narrows reclamation plant, which was constructed 
in 1962 primarily to reduce the costs of waste dis- 
posal, reclaims about 15,000 acre-feet of domestic 
sewage annually for replenishment of downstream 
ground water. Water from the recharged aquifer is 
used for irrigation, for homes, and for industry. 

At the Santee Project in San Diego County, 
reclaimed water is used in six artificial lakes, four 
of which provide fishing and boating. Some of the 
lake water receives additional treatment and is used 
in a nearby swimming pool. A portion of the 
reclaimed water is also used to irrigate a golf 
course. The Indian Creek Project was constructed 
by the South Tahoe Public Utility District for the 
disposal of domestic wastes from the Lake Tahoe 
area. Effluent from local wastes is transported 
through a 29-mile pipeline to Indian Creek 
Reservoir in Alpine County. Treated water from 
the reservoir, which has a capacity of 35,000 acre 
feet and a surface area of 163 acres, is u.sed for 
recreation and irrigation in the Carson River Basin. 

During 1969, 172 reclamation plants were either 
in operation or under construction in California, 
and some 135,000 acre feet of water was 
reclaimed, most of which was used for irrigation. 
Current studies by local agencies indicates that by 
1990, about 300,000 acre-feet of water may be 
reclaimed in the South Coastal area, where 90 
percent of the potential for water reclamation is 
located. By 2020, 600,000 acre-feet may be 
reclaimed in the South Coastal area. 

The most economical use of waste water as a 
supplemental supply will be in areas where 
imported water is costly and where large amounts 
of waste water are discharged. These conditions are 
especially prevalent in the South Coastal area and, 
to a lesser extent, in the San Francisco Bay area. 

Other Sources of Water 

New techniques and methodologies are being 
developed in California for other unconventional 


sources of water. These include modification of the 
weather, watershed management, and the use of 
geothermal energy for the desalination of saline 
ground water. The interstate transfer of surplus 
water from the Pacific Northwest has been 
suggested, and a new concept for long-distance 
transporation of water from the North Coastal area 
is embodied in a proposed undersea aqueduct. 

in weather modification research is a varied one. 
The Department is cooperating with Fresno State 
College in studies of a possible increase in 
precipitation in the Sierra Nevada. The Department 
is also responsible for licensing public and private 
operators of weather modification projects and for 
reviewing performance reports on completed 

Weather Modification 

During the past 20 years, the possibility of 
artificially creating or increasing precipitation has 
been the subject of considerable research and 
development. In 1951, the CaUfomia Legislature 
appropriated $50,000 for the first state-sponsored 

So far, experiments in California have primarily 
consisted of efforts to increase precipitation from 
individual clouds or storms, and attempts to clear 
fog at airports and to suppress lightning or hail 
storms. The most common methods is the seeding 
of clouds with silver iodide, sulfer trioxide, or 
combinations of both, from either aircraft or 
ground-based generators. During the 1968-69 
season, eleven such experiments were carried out in 
California by various public and private licensees. 
The results thus far have revealed that although the 
amount and pattern of precipitation can be 
changed, the amount of rainfall in a particular area 
cannot yet be directly controlled. 

At the moment a number of legal and technical 
questions remain unresolved. An important legal 
question relates to the responsibility of operators 
for increasing flood flows and for the possible 
decrease in precipitation in areas downwind from 
target areas. Further experiments are needed to 
determine what atmospheric conditions are best 
for cloud seeding and the best method of seeding 
under various conditions. 

The effectiveness of weather modification 
experiments is difficult to evaluate because of the 
great variety of natural weather and rainfall 
patterns. Frequently, similar experiments produce 
conflicting evaluations. However, recent 
experiments in California have indicated that cloud 
seeding may produce an average increase in 
precipitation of about 5 percent in certain areas of 
the State. 

Of course, a mere increase in precipitation 
would not directly increase water supplies. The 
amount of usable water realized from increased 
precipitation would depend on the availability of 
storage facilities. Furthermore, additional rain or 
snowfall during years of normal or above-normal 
precipitation would be of little value, unless 
surplus runoff could be controlled and stored for 
use during dry years. 

The role of the Department of Water Resources 

Watershed Management 

Of the 200 million annual acre-feet of precipita- 
tion in California, only about 70 million is avail- 
able as runoff. The difference of 130 million 
acre-feet is consumed by trees, shrubs and grass in 
mountain and foothill watersheds. Watershed 
management is defined as the control or manipula- 
tion of vegetation in such watersheds to increase 
runoff. The usual practice is to remove perennial 
trees and shrubs and replace them with grass cover. 
Past experiments with vegetative manipulation 
have produced conflicting results. However, re- 
moval of vegetation in areas where annual rainfall 
exceeds 15 inches will usually result in increased 

Since large amounts of water are consumed by 
trees and shrubs, their removal would appear to 
present a source of considerable additional water. 
However, many of the mountain watersheds are 
either occupied by national forests or privately 
owned. Furthermore, the removal of trees can 
lessen the scenic value of a forested area, increase 
the potential for erosion and landslides, and 
destroy cover needed by wildlife. The cost of 
clearing and preventing regrowth is another nega- 
tive factor. 

Watershed management is also complicated by 
the legal problem of ownership of the additional 
water made available. Other legal questions involve 
the status of the developer of additional water with 
respect to riparian owners or prior appropriators. 

Two areas in California offer possibilities for 
watershed management. These are the foothill 
brushlands in northern and central California, and 
snow fields in commercial timber zones. However, 
limitations and problems connected with the man- 
ipulation of vegetation preclude its consideration 
as a substantial source of additional water in 
California, at least at the present time. 

Geothermal Water Resources 

Geothermal energy is literally defined as the 
natural heat generated beneath the surface of the 
earth. In certain areas of California, .subsurface 
temperatures rise sharply with depth; in such areas, 
superheated ground water comes to the surface as 
hot springs and geysers. The production of fresh 
water from saline ground water in such geothermal 


areas offers another possible source of water 

The hot mineralized water could be distilled 
with its own heat or the heat could be used to 
distill other mineralized water or for the generation 
of electric energy. The distillation process would 
also produce lai'ge quantities of waste brines; a 
satisfactory method for their disposal would be 

Although some 180 thermal springs have been 
discovered in California, most of them in Sonoma 
and Mono Counties and in the Imperial Valley near 
the Salton Sea, only the latter area offers promise 
of sufficient geothermal energy and brine to enable 
large-scale distallation. Preliminary estimates by 
the University of California indicate that vast 
quantities of heated brine are stored in sediment- 
ary formations in the Salton Sea area. This offers a 
potential large source of waste that could be 
distilled with its own natural heat. 

These estimates are only preliminary, and a great 
deal of research will be required to establish the 
feasibility of large-scale geothermal distillation. At 
the present time, the Department of Water Re- 
sources, in cooperation with the University of 
California, is studying the geothermal potential of 
the Salton Sea area. 

If geothermal distillation should become practi- 
cal, it could provide a new source of water in the 
Imperial Valley. New water supplies in the Colo- 
rado Desert area might help resolve the quality 
problems in areas served with Colorado River 
water. Fresh water could be (1) blended with 
Colorado River water to improve its quality, or (2) 
used locally or diverted to the South Coastal area 
in place of water from the Colorado. 

Western States Water Development 

Among the possible alternative sources of addi- 
tional water is a suggested plan for imports from 
the Pacific Northwest, or even as far away as 
Canada or Alaska. Development on such a scale 
would be extremely expensive and would certainly 
entail many political and legal problems. An 
interstate project would require either large mar- 

kets for the expensive water transported or finan- 
cial grants or subsidies. Although the idea of 
interstate and even international transfer of water 
is worthy of study, many years will probably be 
required to initiate a project. 

Undersea Aqueduct 

An undersea aqueduct to convey surplus water 
from the North Coastal area to Central and 
Southern California has been proposed as an 
alternative for overland aqueducts. A preliminary 
report published by the U.S. Bureau of Reclama- 
tion in 1969 suggests a 30-foot-diameter pipeline 
anchored on the continental shelf about 300 feet 
below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The 
aqueduct would extend from the mouth of the 
Klamath or Eel River about 700 miles to Southern 

A number of materials, including heavy-duty 
plastic, flexible rubber, fibre glass, concrete, steel, 
and aluminum, have been suggested for construc- 
tion of the aqueduct. A great deal of research will 
be required to (1) evaluate the various materials, 

(2) determine cost estimates for construction, 
placement, and maintenance of the aqueduct, and 

(3) determine how such an aqueduct would affect 
the marine environment. 

An undersea aqueduct is not an alternative 
source of water but rather an alternative convey- 
ance system. Its use would require onshore facili- 
ties similar to those required for an overland 
aqueduct. Because of the variable amounts of 
runoff in Northern California, large storage reser- 
voirs would be required to regulate supplies and 
assure uniform deliveries. In addition, a diversion 
structure near the mouth of the river that provides 
the export supplies would be needed to prevent 
fish from being carried into the aqueduct. 

The report by the Bureau of Reclamation 
outlines the additional research and study required 
and indicates that about six years will be needed to 
complete preliminary studies. The U.S. Congress 
has appropriated funds for the first year of these 
studies, which are now in progress. 


The four-year study of California's long-term 
water requirements, which was conducted by the 
Department of Water Resources following publica- 
tion of Bulletin No. 160-66, was based on analyses 
of the economic demand for water in each of the 

eleven hydrologic study areas and the extent to 
which those demands could be satisfied by the 
development of local supplies, by imports, or by 
other sources. The results of these analyses are 
shown in Table 6 and summarized in the para- 
















Figure 1 1. Present and Projected Water Demand - Water Supply Relationships. 


graphs that follow. The relationship between sup- 
ply and demand in each hydrologic area is shown 
in Figure 11. 

In Table 6, net water demands represent the 
requirements for developed water from all sources. 
Net water supplies represent the sum of all sources 

of water, both local and imported. In several areas, 
ground water overdraft has been included as a 
source of supply. In all areas except the Central 
Coastal, South Lahontan, and Colorado Desert, 
where there are no foreseeable economical alter- 
native water-supply sources, this overdraft of 
ground water is expected to be only temporary. 

Table 6. Net Water Demands and Water Supplies 

By Hydrologic Study Area, 1967-2020 

(in 1,000's of acre- feet) 


Net Water 


Ground Water 

Total Net 


ed Shortage 

North Coastal 


Water Suppli 




er Supplies 

Or( + )R 

eserve S 









1990 2020 



















San Francisco Bay 











+ 120* 


Central Coast 















South Coastal 












Sacramento Basin 














Delta-Central Sierra 













San Joaquin 













Tulare Basin 













North Lahontan 













South Lahontan 















Colorado Desert 






























•Represents contractu 


both, but 

not firm « 


es in Ihe h 

dr.. logic jr 


North Coastal Area. The North Coast, by far the 
most water-abundant area in California, contri- 
butes about 27 million annual acre-feet, or some 
40 percent of the State's runoff. The 1967 
population stood at 180,000. By 1990, the popu- 
lation will approach 210,000; the projected 2020 
population is 300,000. The primary water require- 
ment in the North Coastal area is for irrigated 
agriculture, with a net (1967) demand of 660,000 
acre-feet per year. More than 80 percent of the 
irrigated acreage lies in the upper Klamath River 
Basin, including Shasta and Scott Valleys. Irrigated 
lands are expected to expand by about 30,000 
acres by 2020. 

A large percentage of the urban demand is for 
the paper and pulp industry, which will probably 
account for at least half of the total increase in net 
water demand by 2020. The total net water 
demand in the North Coastal area is expected to 
increase by almost 200,000 acre-feet by 2020. 
About 25 percent of this wOl be met by an 
extension of service from existing developed sur- 
face water, another 25 percent by additional 
extractions of ground water, and about one-half 
will be dependent on new surface-water develop- 

Streamflow in the North Coast is also needed to 
support spawning runs of salmon and steelhead 
cut off from their spawning grounds by the 
construction of dams. The California Department 

of Fish and Game has signed agreements with local 
and federal agencies for some 680,000 acre-feet of 
releases on three North Coastal Rivers. 

San Francisco Bay Area. The San Francisco Bay 
Area is the second most populous urban area in 
Cahfornia. The 1967 population was 4,320,000. 
Projected population for 1990 is 6,500,000; for 
2020, 10,100,000. As a whole, the region has 
sufficient water to meet all demands until some- 
time after 2000. However, in certain ai-eas, defi- 
ciencies will probably occur much sooner. 

Present water demands in the North Bay area are 
being met by ground water, several local projects, 
two federal projects, and the North Bay Aqueduct. 
Parts of Napa and Sonoma Counties are exper- 
iencing an overdraft of ground water supplies. The 
entire North Bay area will require about 50,000 
additional acre-feet within the next 20 years. This 
anticipated supplemental demand will increase to 
about 350,000 acre-feet by 2020. The increase will 
result in part from growth in irrigated agriculture 
but chiefly from continued urban development. 
Most of the additional demand can be met by 
further local development. The Russian River and 
its tributaries offer the greatest potential, aug- 
mented by increased supplies from the North Bay 
Aqueduct and other local projects. 

The South Bay area is highly urbanized — the 
population is expected to more than double 


between 1970 and 2020. Local surface and ground 
water supplies have been almost fully developed 
and the area is heavily dependent on imports. In 
1967, about 500,000 acre-feet were delivered to 
the South Bay. Reclaimed waste water and de- 
salted sea water are possible future sources of 
water in the South Bay area, but more data are 
needed to assess their full potential. 

The most urgent water problem in the San 
Francisco Bay area is pollution resulting from 
domestic and industrial wastes, irrigation return 
water, and saline water intrusion. Serious over- 
drafts of ground water, which are contributing to 
the seawater intrusion problem, exist in the Santa 
Clara Valley and in Southern Alameda County, and 
some provision must be made to correct them. 
Continuous urban growth is increasing the prob- 
lem of waste disposal. 

The preservation and enhancement of fisheries 
and wildlife habitat are also important features of 
the Bay area's future water needs. Striped bass, 
salmon, and steelhead abound in the various 
waterways. The area is a major flyway for water- 
fowl and has a large population of deer. As part of 
the area's 2020 water demands, some 40,000 
annual acre-feet are included specifically for fish 
and wildlife. 

Recreational activity in the San Francisco Bay 
area, already overtaxed, will continue to be limited 
by the lack of facilities and will receive heavy use. 
Consumptive use of water at camping and picnic 
facilities is not large. However, the water needs of 
hundreds of thousands of annual visitors to the 
Bay area are substantial and are included in the 
projected demand. 

Central Coastal Area. The Central Coastal area 
includes the counties of Santa Cruz, Monterey, San 
Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and portions of Santa 
Clara and San Benito. The 1967 population of 
750,000 is expected to approach 1,200,000 in 
1990 and 2,200,000 in 2020. The present net 
water demand of 940,000 acre-feet is producing an 
annual ground water overdraft of some 120,000 
acre-feet. Despite planned imports from the State 
Water Project and the authorized San Felipe 
Division of the Central Valley Project, the pro- 
jected demand shows deficiencies of some 130,000 
acre-feet in 1990 and 360,000 acre-feet in 2020. 
Optional sources to cover the projected deficien- 
cies include additional surface and ground water 
developments, additional imports, and desalted 

South Coastal Area. The largest urban center in 
California, the South Coastal area had a 1967 
population count of 10,510,000. Projected popula- 
tion for 1990 is 16,000,000; for 2020, 23,900,000. 
The (1967) water demands of almost 2.5 million 

acre- feet are met by (1) local surface and ground 
water, which is almost fully developed, (2) the Los 
Angeles Aqueduct, and (3) The Colorado River 

Deliveries from the State Water Project to the 
area will begin in 1971. The total maximum 
entitlement to project water is 2,204,000 acre-feet 
per year. Imports from the Colorado River will 
probably be reduced in the mid-1980s, when the 
Central Arizona Project becomes operational. 
Nevertheless, the supply in the South Coastal area, 
including the full entitlement from the State Water 
Project, should be adequate until about 2010, at 
which time supplemental water will be needed. 

The rapidly increasing salinity of the Colorado 
River is creating water quality problems in the 
South Coastal area. Dilution with high-quality 
water from the State Water Project will afford 
relief in some water-service areas. 

The projected net water demand for 2020 is 
almost 5.3 million acre-feet per year. The projected 
supply of 4.63 milhon acre-feet, including a 
planned 300,000 acre-feet of reclaimed waste 
water, shows a deficit of about 650,000 acre-feet 
that could be supplied from several alternative 
sources. These include (1) additional early de- 
liveries of State Water Project water to be stored 
undergi-ound for use later, (2) water from supple- 
mentally facilities of the State Water Project, (3) 
desalted water, (4) the interim use of stored 
ground water and (5) increased waste-water recla- 
mation. A combination of some or all of these 
alternatives is probable. 

Sacramento Basin. Second only to the North 
Coast in abundance of water resources, the Sacra- 
mento Basin produces an estimated 21 million 
acre-feet of annual runoff, or about 30 percent of 
the statewide total. Although this average runoff 
far exceeds the projected 2020 net water demand 
of seven million acre-feet, regulation is necessarj' in 
the Sacramento Basin to (1) consei-ve winter and 
wet-year surpluses for inigation-season and dry- 
year needs, and (2) protect the basin from floods. 

The 1967 population stood at 1,140,000. Pro- 
jected population for 1900 is 1,600,000; for 2020. 
2,300,000. In most of the Sacramento Basin, 
projected water supplies will equal, or even exceed, 
projected demands, even in 2020. However, the 
west side of the Sacramento Valley, the Pit River 
Basin, and certain foothill and mountain areas, 
including Lake County, will experience shortages. 
Supplemental demands on the west side, including 
Yolo and Solano Counties, could be fulfilled by 
the proposed Indian Valley Reservoir on Cache 
Creek and by imports from the Central Valley 
Project. The authorized Lakeport Project, along 
with proposed Middletown Reservoir, would fulfill 
the supplemental need in Lake County. 


Portions of the streamflow in the Sacramento 
Basin are needed to maintain and enhance fisheries 
and wildhfe habitat. The Department of Fish and 
Game has 26 agreements with 13 agencies for such 
flows from Clear Creek and the Sacramento, 
American Feather, Pit, and McCloud Rivers. 

Delta-Central Sierra Area. The Delta-Central 
Sierra area comprises the Delta of the Sacramento 
and San Joaquin Rivers and the watersheds of the 
Calaveras, Mokelumne, and Cosumnes Rivers. The 
1967 population of 400,000 is expected to in- 
crease to 650,000 in 1990 and 1,100,000 in 2020. 
Irrigated agriculture thrives in both the Delta and 
valley lands to the east. Irrigated acreage is 
expected to increase from 760,000 in 1967 to 
about 900,000 in 2020. 

Surface water sources include the Mokelumne 
and Calaveras Rivers, along with the Putah South, 
Contra Costa, and Delta Mendota Canals. Ground 
water fulfills some 30 percent of the present 
demand, including an annual overdraft of about 
100,000 acre-feet in the area east of the Delta. 
When the Folsom South Canal is operational, most 
of the ground water overdraft in the area east of 
Sacramento, Lodi, and Stockton should be alle- 
viated. Additional agricultural water for the north- 
ern tip of Stanislaus County could be provided by 
the New Melones Project. 

Projected shortages in Solano County, about 
30,000 and 35,000 acre-feet in 1990 and 2020, 
respectively, could be met from the proposed 
Sacramento Canal unit of the Central Valley 
Project, by direct diversion from the Delta, or by 
interim ground water overdraft. Supplemental de- 
mands in Contra Costa and San Joaquin Counties, 
10,000 acre-feet in 1990 and 25,000 acre-feet in 
2020, could be fulfilled by imports from the 
Central Valley Project or by additional imports 
from the State Water Project. Projected shortages 
of 50,000 acre-feet in 1990 and 120,000 acre-feet 
in 2020 in the eastern part of the Delta-Central 
Sierra area could be met by some combination of 
the Cosumnes River Division of the Central Valley 
Project, direct diversions from Folsom Lake, and 
small local projects. 

Substantial streamflow is required for main- 
tenance of the large variety of fish and other 
aquatic life in the Delta's 700 miles of waterways. 
Freshwater releases are also required for the 
maintenance of water quality, particularly the 
repulsion of saline water from San Francisco Bay. 
Another water quality problem is the increasing 
discharge of agricultural-drainage and industrial 
waste water into the Delta waterways. 

San Joaquin Basin. The San Joaquin Basin 
includes the Counties of Madera, Merced, Mari- 
posa, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and the southerly 

portion of San Joaquin County. The 1967 popula- 
tion of 410,000 is projected to 610,000 in 1990 
and to 1,000,000 in 2020. The 1967 net water 
demand of some 4.4 million acre-feet was met by 
local surface and ground water, including an 
overdraft of about 170,000 acre-feet, and imports 
from the Central Valley Project. 

Most of the demand in the San Joaquin Basin is 
for agricultural water; smaller amounts are needed 
for urban use and for recreation, fish, and wildlife 
in the foothills and mountains to the east. Existing 
projects and possible additional ground water yield 
are considered sufficient to meet the needs of the 
westside valley slopes until 1990 and those of the 
irrigation districts on the eastern valley floor until 
2020. Construction of Hidden and Buchanan Re- 
servoirs on the Fresno and Chowchilla Rivers, 
respectively, will provide about 50,000 acre-feet 
annually for water-deficient areas on the valley 
floor. Projected deficiencies on the Eastern valley 
floor of 300,000 acre-feet in 1990 and 560,000 
acre-feet in 2020 could be met by temporarily 
continuing to mine stored ground water or by 
importing supplemental supplies. Additional im- 
ports from the Central Valley Project will be 

The California Department of Fish and Game 
has agreements for streamflow releases to maintain 
fisheries and wildlife habitat in the San Joaquin 
Basin. Net water demands for recreation, fish and 
wildlife are expected to increase from the present 
30,000 acre-feet to 70,000 acre-feet in 1990, and 
to 90,000 acre-feet in 2020. 

Tulare Basin. The Tulare Basin comprises the 
entire drainage area of the San Joaquin Valley 
south of the San Joaquin River, including Fresno, 
Kings, and Tulare Counties and those portions of 
Kern and San Benito Counties lying in the Central 
Valley. The 1967 population stood at 910,000 and 
is expected to increase to 1,200,000 in 1990; to 
1,800,000 in 2020. The 1967 net water use of 6.4 
million acre-feet, primarily for agriculture, in- 
cluded an overdraft of ground water of almost 1.8 
million acre-feet. 

The primary natural source of water is runoff 
from the Sierra Nevada into the Kings, Kaweah, 
Tule, and Kern Rivers. However, water use in the 
Tulare Basin has long exceeded available supplies, 
and supplemental water is imported through the 
Friant-Kern Canal of the Central Valley Project. 
The need for supplemental supplies is expected to 
approach 1.2 million acre-feet in 1990 and 2.1 
million acre-feet in 2020. 

Supplemental water for the area west of the 
valley trough could be provided by deliveries from 
the State Water Project and by additional water 
from the Central Valley Project. Additional water 
for the eastern part of the valley floor is urgently 


needed now and could be provided by the pro- 
posed East Side Division of the Central Valley 

About 25,000 acre-feet per year are required for 
the maintenance of fish and wildlife in the Tulare 
Basin. These requirements will increase to some 
65,000 acre-feet in 1990 and to 100,000 acre-feet 
in 2020. 

North Lahontan Area. The North Lahontan area 
occupies the narrow strip east of the Sierra Nevada 
along the California-Nevada border, extending 
from Mono County to Oregon. Although the area 
has the fewest water resources of the 11 hydrologic 
study areas, projected water requirements are also 
quite low. The 1967 population of 40,000 is 
projected to 70,000 in 1990 and to 100,000 in 

Irrigated acreage is not expected to increase, and 
cattle raising will continue as the chief agricultural 
activity. However, as regulatory structures are 
built, and as the additional use of ground water 
enables irrigation over a longer portion of the 
growing season, total agricultural water use will 
increase. A shortage of about 50,000 acre-feet of 
agricultural water is possible by 2020. 

The accelerated growth of recreation in the Lake 
Tahoe basin will probably continue, and a fourfold 
increase in summer residents is estimated for 2020. 
No shortage of water for urban and recreation use 
is expected before 1990. However, by 2020, the 
demand for supplementary water for these uses is 
estimated at 70,000 acre-feet, most of it in the 
Lake Tahoe-Truckee River basin. Future sources to 
meet this supplemental need have not been identi- 

South Lahontan Area. The South Lahontan 
area, a part of the Great Basin, is characterized by 
many enclosed sinks and basins and by the largest 
extremes in elevation in the coterminous United 
States, ranging from 282 feet below sea level in 
Death Valley to 14,495 feet on Mt. Whitney. 

The 1967 population stood at 220,000. Esti- 
mated population for 1990 is 590,000; for 2020, 
1,300,000. The net water demand of 420,000 
acre-feet (1967) exceeds the dependable supply by 
some 240,000 acre-feet, and the annual overdraft is 
depleting ground water levels. Net water demands 
are projected to 490,000 acre-feet in 1990 and to 
500,000 in 2020. 

In 1972, several local agencies will begin receiv- 
ing imports from the State Water Project. The 
deliveries will eventually reach the maximum en- 
titlements of 215,000 acre-feet per year. However, 
these imports will be too costly for any but 
high-value crops and will only partially stabilize the 

falling ground water levels. Thus, the demand for 
supplemental water will continue. Many acres of 
undeveloped agi-icultural land could be highly 
productive if they were provided with adequate 

The economic development of the South Lahon- 
tan area has been accelerated recently by new 
industry — particularly the new Lockheed Aircraft 
manufacturing plant near Palmdale — and an 
increase in vacation and retirement homes. The 
economy of the area will be further stimulated 
when the planned Palmdale International airport is 
completed about 1977. The airport will employ 
several thousand persons, and additional jobs will 
be created by the need for related industries and 
services. This projected increase in employment 
should result in a substantially increased housing 

Colorado Desert Area. The Colorado Desert area 
is characterized by the driest climate in the State 
and by very high summer temperatures. Much of 
the area is frost-free, and crops can be grown 
throughout the year. Irrigated acreage in the area is 
second only to that of the Central Valley. 

The 1967 population of 220,000 is projected to 
370,000 in 1990 and to 600,000 in 2020. The 
1967 net water demand of 3,980,000 acre-feet was 
met chiefly with imports from the Colorado River, 
a major factor in the development of irrigation in 
the area. In addition, over 100,000 acre-feet of 
ground water is used annually, chiefly in the 
Coachella Valley. Net water demands are projected 
to 4,070,000 acre-feet in 1990 and to 4,140,000 in 

Additional irrigable land is available, but uevel- 
opment of this land is limited by the lack of 
additional water. Although several local agencies 
have contracted for annual deliveries of 80,000 
acre-feet from the State Water Project, most of this 
will be used for urban development. The cost of 
these imports prohibits their use for agriculture, 
although some benefit will probably result from 
ground water recharge. 

A major problem in the Colorado Desert area is 
the high salt content of the Colorado River water 
used for irrigation. Extensive networks of tile 
drains have been installed, and additional agi"icul- 
tural water is applied to prevent the buildup of salt 
in the soil. The quality of imported Colorado River 
water varies with the available flow and the nature 
of return flows from upstream projects. Predictions 
of the future quality of Colorado River water, 
based on the expected development of authorized 
upstream projects, indicate that, unless corrective 
measures are taken, the quality may continue to 
deteriorate until it is usable for irrigation of only 


the most salt-tolerant crops. The Colorado Desert 
is one of the few areas in the nation where 
vegetables, which are relatively sensitive to salt, can 

be grown during the winter. The elimination of this 
important winter crop would result in a serious 
economic loss to the area. 


The California Water Plan, and subsequent re- 
ports of the Department of Water Resources, were 
published to provide a basic planning framework 
for the fulfillment of long-range water demands. 
Two interbasin developments that will help ac- 
complish this general objective are the federal 
Central Valley Project and the California State 
Water Project. These projects exemplify the coor- 
dinated systems approach to water resource preser- 
vation and management. The coordinated opera- 
tion of the two projects will enable future exten- 
sion of water service to areas of California where 
service could not be provided by local or inde- 
pendently operated projects or by other sources. 

Coordinated operation of the Central Valley 
Project and the State Water Project, including the 
use of common stream channels and conveyance 
facilities, enables a high degree of flexibility and 
efficiency. As water supplies in the Central Valley 
become more fully used, this coordination will 
become even more important. At the present time, 
a proposed joint operating agreement between the 
Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of 
Water Resources, covering such features as the 
transfer or exchange of facilities and criteria for 
the allocation of water shortages, is being reviewed 
by the Secretary of the Interior. 

Central Valley Project _ 

Construction of the Central Valley Project, 
which was begun by the U.S. Bureau of Reclama- 
tion in 1935, marked the beginning of coordinated 
interbasin water development in the Central Valley 
of California. Water service from the Contra Costa 
Canal, the first unit of the Delta Division, began in 
1942. Since that time, the Central Valley Project 
has been expanded by the addition of the features 
shown in Plate 1 (page 22), which have either been 
completed or are under construction. The Central 
Valley Project is now providing water, flood 
protection, electrical energy, recreation, salinity 
control, and an improved environment for fish and 
wildlife in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Val- 
leys, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and the 
San Francisco Bay area. During 1969, deliveries of 
water totaled almost 6 million acre-feet. 

State Water Project 

In 1959, the California Legislature enacted the 
Water Resources Development Bond Act, popular- 
ly known as the Burns-Porter Act. The Act, which 
authorized the sale of bonds for the construction 
of facilities to develop the water resources of 
California, was approved by the electorate in 1960. 
As a result, the California State Water Project, the 
largest single water development ever carried out in 
the United States, became a reality. With 95 
percent of initial facilities completed or under 
contract, the State Water Project includes 21 major 
dams and reservoirs, the 444-mile-long California 
Aqueduct and other conveyance facilities, 22 
pumping plants, and 7 powerplants. 

During 1970, some 380,000 acre-feet of project 
water has been delivered to public agencies in the 
counties of Butte,- Plumas, Napa, Santa Clara, 
Alameda, Stanislaus, Kings, Kern, and Tulare. 
When in full operation, the State Water Project will 
supply 4,230,000 acre-feet per year to 31 water 
service agencies who have signed contracts with the 
State of California. Other benefits of the Project 
include salinity control in the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta, hydroelectric power, flood control, 
new recreation areas, and the improvement of fish 
and wildlife habitats. Major features of the State 
Water Project, the initial phase of which is now 
nearing completion, are shown in Plate 1. 

The Peripheral Canal 

The Peripheral Canal is proposed as an import- 
ant joint-use facility of the Central Valley Project- 
State Water Project system. The Canal, an unlined 
400-foot-wide channel, would begin at the Sacra- 
mento River near Hood and extend about 43 miles 
along the eastern edge of the Delta to Clifton 
Court Forebay. Fresh water will be released into 
the Delta at 12 outlet structures to maintain and 
improve water quality in the many interior Delta 

The importance of the Peripheral Canal is shown 
by its various functions. Operation of the Canal 















Figure 12. The Central Valley Project - Projected Net Water Demands and Dependable Water Supplies. 



• protect and enhance the Delta fisheries and 
other aquatic life by eliminating flow reversals 
and providing freshwater releases in the San 
Joaquin River and other Delta channels. 

• ensure a firm supply of high quality water for 
farms and homes in the Delta through releases 
of fresh water during summer months. 

• transport high-quality water for the Kellogg 
Unit of the Central Valley Project or a similar 
project to provide water to Contra Costa 

• provide salinity control in the Delta in accord- 
ance with criteria to be established by the 
State Water Resources Control Board and by 
agreements with local interests. 

• fulfill the water-transfer and water quality 
objectives of the Central Valley Project-State 
Water Project system without using existing 
Delta channels for water transfer, thus elimi- 
nating possible channel scour, levee erosion, 
and adverse effects on fisheries. 

Although the Peripheral Canal will neither add 
new service areas nor increase water deliveries from 
the Central Valley Project-State Water Project 
system, its operation will enable greatly increased 
flexibility. Recent operation studies indicate that 
controlled releases from the canal will alleviate the 
water shortage and water quality problems in the 
Delta itself. The studies further indicated that 
without the canal, water could continue to be 
diverted directly from the Delta without great risk 
of shortage until about 1980. However, fish and 
wildlife interests want the Peripheral Canal con- 
structed as soon as possible to enhance the Delta 
fisheries and wildlife habitat. 

Projected Water Dennands 
on the Federal and State Systems 

On completion of the facilities now under 
construction, the Central Valley Project and the 
State Water Project will be capable of providing 
water service in all hydrologic study areas of 
California except the North Lahontan. However, 
projected future demands show that additional 
sources of water supply will be needed beginning in 
the mid-1990s. These may include various combi- 
nations of potential supplies, such as desalination, 
reclamation of waste water, and other possible 

Possible Additions to the Central Valley Project 

Figure 12 shows (1) the increasing demands in 
CVP service areas and (2) the projected water 
supplies developed by the project under two 


conditions. The first condition (represented by the 
dashed lines) relates to existing features of the 
project and those under construction. The second 
condition (represented by the solid lines), shows 
the effect of the addition of the following pro- 
posed features: 

The East Side Division could provide new water 
supplies to potential service areas in Fresno, Kings, 
Tulare, and Kern Counties. Features would include 
the East Side Canal, five offstream reservoirs, 
pumping plants, and a distribution and drainage 
system. The East Side Canal, which would extend 
330 miles from southern Sacramento County to 
the Kern River, could considerably enhance the 
environment of streams in the Sierra Nevada 
foothills, from Dry Creek in Sacramento County to 
the Kern River in Kern County. 

The West Sacramento Valley Canal Unit could 
provide future water supplies to the Yolo-Sonoma, 
Lower Cache Creek, and Solano service areas in 
Yolo and Solano Counties. Principal features 
would include an enlarged portion of the Tehama- 
Colusa Canal, which is presently under construc- 
tion, an extension of that canal, and Sites Reser- 
voir, a 1,200,000-acre-foot pumped-storage reser- 
voir in western Colusa County. 

The Cosumnes River Division would comprise 
three reservoirs and an extensive distribution sys- 
tem to service areas in the foothill regions of 
Sacramento, Amador, and San Joaquin Counties. 
The main storage feature would be the 900,000- 
acre-foot Nashville Reservoir, which would provide 
recreation, flood protection, and enhancement of 
the fisheries in the lower Cosumnes River. 

The Allen Camp Unit, consisting of Allen Camp 
Dam and Reservoir on the Pit River, would provide 
irrigation water, flood control, recreation, and fish 
and wildlife benefits in the Big Valley area of 
Lassen and Modoc Counties. 

Figure 12 shows that sufficient water supplies 
are developed by the Central Valley Project to 
enable substantially increased service with no 
additional conservation facilities. However, addi- 
tional conveyance facilities, i.e., the East Side 
Division and the West Sacramento Valley Canal 
Unit, are needed to serve areas of present and 
incipient deficiency in the Tulare and Sacramento 

Figure 12 also shows that additional conserva- 
tion facilities, beyond those described in the 
preceding paragraphs, may not be required until 
about 2000. Figure 12 further shows that by 2020, 
the projected demand for expanded service could 
require facilities to develop an additional 1 million 
acre-feet annually. These additional facilities have 
not been identified. 


Possible Additions to the State Water Project 

Figure 13 shows that the initial conservation 
facihties of the State Water Project will furnish 
about 3.8 million acre-feet of dependable water 
supplies annually. Figure 13 also shows projected 
net water demands in Project service areas to 2020, 
including (1) present contract entitlements, and (2) 
anticipated future supplemental service in excess of 
present entitlements. Figure 13 further shows that 
demands will begin to exceed supplies from the 
initial conservation facilities in the mid-1990s. 

On the basis of current projections of growth in 
State Water Project service areas, the Department 
of Water Resources estimates that an additional 
conservation facility will be needed in the 
mid-1990s to meet present contract entitlements. 
Estimates by the Department in 1966 indicated 
that a new Project facility would be needed in the 
mid-1980s. However, revised rates of projected 
growth now indicate that the time of need for an 
additional facility will be postponed about 10 
years. On the other hand, the time of need could 
be advanced by (1) greater-than-planned outflows 
from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, as might 
be required by the State Water Resources Control 
Board; (2) the needs of additional service areas; or 
(3) increased water use in areas tributary to the 

By 2020, the fulfillment of present contract 

entitlements in State Water Project service areas 
will require about 700,000 acre-feet of additional 
water annually. Moreover, the projected growth of 
demands indicates that about 700,000 annual 
acre-feet of supplemental water service will also be 
needed by 2020 in four hydrologic study areas as 
show in the following table: 



(acre- feet 

Hydrologic Area 
San Francisco Bay 

per year) 

Required for 
Municipal and 


industrial use in 

Solano, Santa Clara, 

Alameda, and Contra 

Costa Counties 

Tulare Basin 


Irrigation in 
Kern County 

Colorado Desert 


Municipal and 
industrial use 

South Coastal 


Municipal and 
industrial use 

Thus, by 2020, the total demand for service 
from the State Water Project could exceed depend- 
able supplies developed by the initial conservation 
facilities by about 1,400,000 acre-feet per year. 
Water-supply sources to meet this additional need 
have not been identified. They may include a 
combination of the various sources discussed under 
ginning on page 20. 












Figure 1 3. State Water Project - Projected Net Water Demands and Dependable Water Supplies. 



Various public groups and individuals have 
expressed concern that a continuation of present 
population patterns in California will soon lead to 
overwhelming environmental problems. Some pro- 
ponents of ecological improvement argue that the 
State's large metropolitan areas, particularly the 
South Coastal area, should no longer be permitted 
to grow. Suggestions for controlling the future 
growth of metropolitan areas include (1) ending 
construction of the State Water Project, thus 
terminating a source of additional water for South- 
ern California, and (2) encouraging the movement 
of people to Northern California, the sources of 
most surplus water in the State. 

Recognizing the need for a state land use and 
population policy, the California State Office of 
Planning and Research is conducting studies of 
alternative approaches to future population growth 
and urbanization. Included in these studies are the 
possible consequences of future growth in existing 
metropolitan areas, and assessments of the physi- 
cal, social, and economic effects of new population 
centers in areas where urbanization has never been 
anticipated. The Department of Water Resources is 
assisting with the studies. 

Three Model Urban Areas 

The projections of future population presented 
in this report are based on recent statewide growth 
trends, which suggest the continued growth of 
existing large metropolitan areas, particularly the 
South Coastal and San Francisco Bay areas. In 
cooperation with the Office of Planning and 
Research, the Department of Water Resources has 
put together three alternative patterns of hypo- 
thetical population distribution. These alternative 
patterns, along with their possible effects on the 
future development, use and disposal of water, are 
briefly discussed in the following paragraphs. The 
effects of new population centers on electric 
power, transportation, and air pollution are also 
briefly mentioned. 

The discussion is based on these criteria: 

1. One-half of the estimated population growth 
of 25.2 million persons between 1970 and 2020 
would locate in new urban areas. The remaining 
12.6 million would locate in existing population 

2. New urban areas would not encroach on 
agricultural land. 

3. The land must not slope more than 30 






Figure 14. 2020 Population for Base Projection and Population 
Dispersal for Models A, B, C. 

The three model areas are based on a hypo- 
thetical allocation of future population to either 
Northern, Central, or Southern California. Each 
model allocates a percentage of 12.6 million 
persons to new metropolitan areas. In each case, 
the remaining percentage would locate in other 
parts of the State in much the same pattern as 
would be expected under recent growth trends. 

Figure 14 shows the hypothetical distribution, 
by hydrologic area, of the total population in 
2020. The assumed natural distribution of popula- 
tion, based on recent trends, is shown as a base 
projection to facilitate a comparison of the effects 
of the three models. Figure 15 shows the hypo- 
thetical distribution of the 12.6 million persons 
dispersed to new urban areas under each plan. 

Model A 

Under Model A, about 5.3 million persons 
would locate in areas between the Sacramento-San 





/ Nc r^ 



/ ^ / 









SB - 


\\\ ^^ 






NL - 



' li/^ 


SL - 












Figure 15. Population Dispersal to New Urban Areas. 

Joaquin Delta and the Oregon border, the primary' 
source of Cahfornia's surplus water. Most of the 
distribution would be to the upper Sacramento 
Valley and to adjacent foothill areas of the Coast 
Range and Sierra Nevada. Distribution to the north 
coast would be modest because of the limited 
amount of suitable land. The remaining 6.3 million 
would locate in Central and Southern California in 
roughly the same pattern as would be expected by 
a continuation of present population trends. 

Model B 

Under Model B, some 10 million persons would 
locate in new cities between the Delta and the 
Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County. Most of the 
population would be distributed along the central 
coast and in foothill regions of Fresno, Madera, 
Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Coun- 
ties. A smaller number would locate along the 
eastern slope of the Coast Range on the west side 
of the San Joaquin Valley. 

Model C 

Model C largely reflects a continuation of 
current growth between the Tehachapi Mountains 

and the Mexican border. However, some 10 million 
persons would be allocated to desert areas and 
along the coast between San Diego and San 
Clemente. A smaller number would locate in the 
foothills bordering the Antelope Valley. 

Effects of Population Dispersal 

Water Development 

Regardless of how the population might be 
distributed, the statewide demand for water during 
the next 50 years will remain essentially the same. 
Table 7 presents estimated 2020 water demands 
for the base projection and for each of the three 
population models. The table indicates that each of 
the three hypothetical population patterns would 
tend to decrease future water demands in existing 
metropolitan centers and increase demands in 
present-day less crowded ai-eas of the State. A 
higher statewide demand is projected for Model A 
because, under this model, more people would 
locate in inland areas, where per capita water use is 
generally greatest. 

Table 7. Estimated 2020 Net Urban Water 

Demands for Alternative Patterns 

of Future Urbanization 

(1000s of acre-feet) 




Study Area 





North Coastal 





San Francisco Bay 





Central Coastal 





South Coastal 





Sacramento Basin 





Delta-Central Sierra 





San Joaquin Basin 





Tulare Basin 





North Lahontan 





South Lahontan 





Colorado Desert 
State Total 









Population centers in previously unoccupied 
areas of the State would require different patterns 
of water distribution. Existing water development 
facilities, as well as those planned for the future, 
are sufficiently flexible to accommodate a wide 
range of population patterns. In coastal areas, 
desalination and water reclamation would enable 
even gi'eater flexibility. On the other hand, new 
inland population centers would reduce the feasi- 
bility of desalting as an alternative source of water 
and increase waste-disposal problems. 

The transfers of water supplies and additional 
developments discussed in the following paragraphs 


are intended only as suggested methods for meet- 
ing demands that might develop under different 
patterns of population distribution.* The discus- 
sion is not intended as a proposed solution to 
future water-development and environmental prob- 

Model A. Under Model A, increased demands in 
the North Coastal area might be met by the 
development of streams along the Mendocino 
Coast. However, such developments would be 
detrimental to local fisheries. Additional demands 
in the Central Coastal area might be satisfied 
through local developments or by the transfer of 
reserves and imports. For example, additional 
water for the Delta-Central Sierra area might be 
supplied from local streams and by the transfer of 
reserves that, under this population pattern, would 
not be needed in the San Francisco Bay area. 
Similarly, increased supplies for the South Lahon- 
tan area might be obtained from water that would 
ordinarily be allocated to the South Coastal area 
under normal growth patterns. 

New cities in the Sierra foothills, and other new 
population centers in the San Joaquin Basin, might 
be served by both the Friant-Kern Canal and 
enlargement of the proposed East Side Division of 
the Central Valley Project. Additional demands in 
the North Lahontan area might be partially satis- 
fied by the development of local streams but 
would probably require imports from the Sacra- 
mento Basin. 

Model B. The distribution of population under 
Model B would mean increased water demands in 
Central California, particularly in the Central 
Coastal area and along the Sierra foothills in the 
San Joaquin Basin. Large water demands along the 
Central Coast might be met by local developments 
and by the transfer of reserve supplies from the 
San Francisco Bay and South Coastal areas. In 
addition, desalination and water reclamation might 
furnish additional supplies in coastal communities. 

New cities along the east side of the San Joaquin 
and Tulare Basins might be served by enlargement 
of the proposed East Side Division of the Central 
Valley Project. Demands on the west side of the 
San Joaquin Valley might be met by diversions 
from the California Aqueduct. Supplies for new 
cities in the South Lahontan and Colorado Desert 
areas might be furnished by diversions from the 
Los Angeles and Colorado Aqueducts. 

Model C. Under Model C, new cities would be 
located in the South Lahontan and Colorado 
Desert areas. New population centers in the south- 
eastern desert regions would entail more long- 
distance imports than might be required under the 
other two population patterns. Cities in the Mojave 

Transfers of reserve supplies would entail a number of legal and 
administrative problems, and would, of course, require facilities 
to carry them out. 

area might be served by increased deliveries from 
the California Aqueduct. The aqueduct might be 
extended to accommodate increased demands in 
the Colorado Desert. New population centers in 
the desert might also be served by diversion of 
Colorado River water. In other areas of the State, 
increased demands might be met in much the same 
manner as suggested for the distribution of popula- 
tion under Models A and B. 

In conclusion, any redistribution of future popu- 
lation would not alter two basic facts: 

• Regardless of where new population centers 
might be located, future water demands will 
remain essentially unchanged. 

• An additional 5 million acre-feet of water per 
year will be required by 2020 to satisfy future 
statewide demands. 

Disposal of Wastes 

As the population of California continues to 
grow, so will the problems connected with the 
disposal of increasing amounts of liquid and solid 
wastes. New cities would present an opportunity to 
use new techniques for waste management. The 
latest methods for waste disposal could be designed 
into new urban areas to provide efficient facilities 
and increased protection for the environment. With 
proper zoning and other controls, waste-disposal 
facilities might never become inadequate. 

Of course, the mere presence of new cities and 
new disposal facilities would not in itself solve the 
growing waste problem. Effective treatment and 
disposal of wastes could be achieved only if all 
aspects of new cities were carefully planned. The 
development of new urban centers without care- 
fully designed growth and zoning controls could 
result in serious waste-disposal problems, particu- 
larly in inland areas. 

The brief discussion that follows is presented 
only to suggest methods that might alleviate the 
problem in future population centers and is not 
based on actual studies of procedures and costs. 
The design of new waste facilities would requii-e a 
complete systems analysis to evaluate alternative 
methods and costs of disposal. 

The maximum benefits from the disposal of 
liquid wastes would be obtained through reclama- 
tion. With the latest process and control methods, 
sludges and composts from sewage-treatment 
plants might be used as fertilizers or as soil 
conditioners. Reclaimed water could be used for 
irrigation, for artificial lakes, or for the recharge of 
ground water basins. 

In coastal areas, the better quality wastes could 
be reclaimed for reuse, with the remainder dis- 
charged to the ocean. Deep-ocean disposal of 
treated waste water should cause little ecological 
degradation and might be beneficial in ai-eas where 


nutrient levels do not adequately support desirable 
biological growth. In the Central Valley, however, 
disposal to the ocean would involve expensive 
conveyance facilities. Waste management plans for 
inland cities should be designed to provide maxi- 
mum benefits from recycling and reclamation. 

In new cities located far from the coast, e.g., the 
Colorado Desert and South Lahontan areas, the 
disposal of waste water could present serious 
problems. Unusable effluents might possibly be 
transported to disposal lakes, where the water 
could evaporate or percolate into the ground, 
leaving the salts to accumulate without further use. 
However, sites would have to be carefully selected 
so that highly mineralized waste water would not 
percolate into usable ground water. The ecological 
effects of such new sinks would require careful 

(3) the source of pollution. 

The amount of air available to dilute concentra- 
tions of pollution is generally determined by 
atmospheric conditions. Atmospheric conditions 
that increase dilution would tend to decrease air 
pollution over a given area. Meteorological condi- 
tions favoring dilution are most prevalent along the 
coast and in Northern California. 

The apparent conclusion is that air pollution 
could be reduced by population centers located 
along the Northern California coast. However, such 
conclusions are only speculative, and much more 
study of the entire problem will be required to 
determine the overall effect of population dispersal 
on air pollution. At the present time, the effects of 
alternative patterns of population distribution on 
air pollution are being studied by the Office of 
Planning and Research. 

Electric Power 

The primary source of additional electric power 
in California will probably be thermal steam- 
electric powerplants, most of which will be located 
near the coast because of the need for large 
quantities of cooling water. The hypothetical 
model cities would tend to move the population 
inland; therefore, power would have to be trans- 
mitted from the coast to the new population 
centers. This would require new high-capacity 
transmission centers and would entail significant 
environmental problems. 

New cities in Northern California would require 
the least complex arrangements. Powerplants could 
be located along the sparsely populated northern 
coastline; extra power required in Southern Cali- 
fornia could probably be transmitted via the 
north-south transmission grid in the Central Valley. 
New cities in the Sierra foothills of Central 
California would require the construction of addi- 
tional transmission facilities from the coast to the 
new foothill cities. 

The most complex arrangement would result 
from the location of new population centers in the 
Colorado Desert and South Lahontan areas. The 
substantial facilities required to transmit power 
through the densely populated South Coastal area 
would entail significant environmental problems 
and would be extremely expensive. 

Air Pollution 

Land use and population policies could be 
established to control the quantities of pollutants 
emitted in a given area. Generally speaking, the 
greater the population in an area, the greater the 
source of pollutants. Therefore, prevention of 
heavy concentrations of pollutants might eventual- 
ly require control of (1) the total number of 
people in an area, (2) the population density, and 


All three hypothetical models contain new 
population centers within the Pacific Coast Moun- 
tain Ranges. Primary corridors in this area lie on a 
north -south a.xis, with limited east-west connec- 
tions to the central interior. New urban centers in 
the coastal area would require expansion of the 
north-south corridor facilities. Improved connec- 
tions between the coast and central interior would 
also be required. 

The main highways on the valley floor in the 
Sierra-Cascade foothills also lie on a north-south 
axis. New cities in the Sierra foothills would 
require expanded transportation facilities within 
the north-south corridors, along with improved 
east-west connections. The development of new 
population centers in the Colorado Desert and 
South Lahontan areas would require new trans- 
portation facilities between the desert region and 
the South Coast. In addition, expanded north- 
south corridor facilities would probably be needed 
to accommodate increased traffic between North- 
ern and Southern California. 


This brief discussion of population dispersal was 
based on a very cursory examination of (1) urban 
problems that might be more easily solved if new 
population centers were established, and (2) new 
problems that might be created. With the excep- 
tion of the effect on water demands, the discussion 
is perhaps more significant in the questions raised 
than in definitive information. It does, however, 
suggest the need for a complete evaluation of all 
the possible benefits and detriments that might 
result from the establishment of new cities in 
presently unoccupied or sparsely populated areas 
of California. 





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JAN 1 6 2006. 

NOV 2 8 2005 




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