Drought Barrier Construction Requires Delta Detours
Boaters Are Reminded To Avoid West False River during Busy Memorial Day Weekend
SACRAMENTO — The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is advising boaters who intend to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that construction of an emergency drought barrier will require them to detour around West False River.
A map showing the waterways that boaters can use in the area is available here, with travel time estimates and navigation instructions.
Construction on the barrier began two weeks ago and is expected to continue to mid-June. West False River will not be available to boaters until the barrier is removed no later than mid-November to avoid the flood season. Removal is expected to take 45 to 60 days.
The barrier will help deter the tidal push of saltwater from San Francisco Bay into the central Delta. The approximately 750-foot-wide barrier will span the river and prevent boat traffic from passing.
Keeping saltwater from the central Delta is a priority, as water there is used by Delta residents and farms and by residents of Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara counties.
Typically when saltwater threatens to encroach deeper into the Delta, water project operators repel it either by slowing the pumping of water from the Delta or increasing the amount of water flowing into the Delta from upstream reservoirs.
In this fourth year of drought, Delta pumping by the state and federal water projects is already negligible, and it takes three to five days for fresh water released from Lake Oroville or Shasta Lake to reach the Delta. An emergency barrier will provide an additional tool to help limit salinity intrusion.
The emergency barrier also will help mitigate a worst-case circumstance this summer in which upstream reservoirs lack sufficient water to meet the minimum outflow requirements to limit Delta salinity intrusion.
To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.Gov.
Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at SaveOurWater.com.
Conservation – the wise, sparing use of water – remains California’s most reliable drought management tool. Each individual act of conservation, such as letting the lawn go brown or replacing a washer in a faucet to stop a leak, makes a difference over time.
Information on DWR’s website about emergency drought barriers is available here.