Department of Water Resources Home

Surface Storage Investigations


Ajay Goyal,
Program Manager

Dept of Water Resources
901 P St., Room 213 A
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-9241

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Decades ago, California’s major reservoirs were built primarily for water supply and flood control.  Today, water storage provides multiple benefits, including seasonal fish flows, water cool enough to sustain salmon, improved water quality, and increased flexibility in water project operations.  Whether behind dams or below ground, California needs new places to store water.  Additional water storage would help the state cope with drought and climate change and benefit both people and the environment.

Much work has been done to investigate additional places to construct above-ground storage in California. In 1994, a federal and State effort called CALFED was created to coordinate activities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the key source of water for major federal and state water projects.  In 2000, 13 federal and State agencies involved in CALFED signed an agreement committing to various objectives, including expanding water supplies to improve reliability.  The State and federal governments have funded the five separate Surface Storage Investigations, which were explicitly conceived to support at least three of CALFED's programmatic goals: water supply reliability, water quality, and ecosystem restoration.

These new projects are being designed to be adaptive and robust, and would support aquatic and riparian ecosystem restoration focused on the Delta and its tributaries, improved drinking and habitat water quality, and the water supply needs associated with California's growing population and diverse economy. Furthermore, these projects must perform well under a number of potential future conditions including changing environmental conditions and needs, climate change, alternative Delta conveyance and management, and natural disasters.

Map of California Upper San Joaquin River Basin Storage Investigation Shasta Lake Enlargement North of-the-Delta Offstream Storage In-Delta Storage Los Vaqueros Expansion Investigation Upper San Joaquin River Basin Storage Investigation Upper San Joaquin River Basin Storage Investigation Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion In-Delta Storage North of-the-Delta Offstream Storage Shasta Lake Enlargement SanLuis