DCA Overview


Delta conveyance refers to State Water Project (SWP) infrastructure in the vast network of waterways comprising the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) that collects and moves fresh affordable water to homes, farms and businesses throughout major regions of the state from the Bay Area to southern California. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is the owner and operator of the SWP and is responsible for all associated upgrades and maintenance, including the proposed Delta Conveyance Project that will modernize SWP conveyance.
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The DCA conducts concept engineering and design work to better position the DWR environmental review process to accurately assess impacts and identify effective mitigation measures, and to better inform concepts in the final environmental documents, leaving fewer unknowns to future design. This work conducted by the DCA, under the direct supervision of DWR, includes but is not limited to:

  • Field investigations of soil and other conditions
  • Development of project layout and alternatives
  • Studies on transportation modes and routes, including how to minimize construction effects to those who live and work in the region
  • Sustainability studies to identify how to reduce carbon emissions throughout construction
  • Evaluations of equipment and materials to reduce noise and other community impacts
  • Tactics to reduce construction time
  • Regional workforce studies to utilize the local labor force
  • Establishing program controls to support the management of risks, procurement, costs, schedule and document control

DCA Outreach Efforts

The DCA presents information through a variety of channels including social media, public presentations, conferences and SEC meetings in order to:

  • Provide clear, concise, accessible and timely information to the public
  • Facilitate public participation in the planning process

  • Improve mutual understanding, encourage dialogue and facilitate constructive public input

  • Build trust through transparency, commitment and follow-through

In addition to regular meetings with elected officials, local, state and federal agencies, and civic and nonprofit groups, among others, the DCA launched the Stakeholder Engagement Committee (SEC) in the last quarter of 2019 to create a forum for DCA staff to publicly present and receive feedback on technical and engineering issues related to DCA activities, with an emphasis on providing a venue for the exchange of information and collaboration between various stakeholders.

The SEC is comprised of approximately twenty public members, including ex-officio members representing government agencies. The SEC bring their knowledge, expertise and love for the Delta to the SEC in order to consider engineering and design considerations in the development and design of a conveyance project that accounts for the “Delta as Place” while working to avoid, reduce, or mitigate significant construction effects to environmental and cultural resources in the Delta and affected communities.

The work of the SEC is outside of DWR’s environmental review process (CEQA). More information on the SEC, including all meeting materials and videos, can be found under Meetings.

History of the State Water Project

California’s water projects are the product of decades of deliberation and the evolution of California’s twin goals of protecting and securing water resources to meet growing demand while maintaining a healthy environment.

  • 1957-2017

    A construction crew works on the outlet conduit at the Frenchman damsite in southeastern Plumas County, California.

    In the late 1950s, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) laid the framework for future water development in California and received funding to build the State Water Project (SWP), a “Trans-Delta system” to convey water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers to south Delta pumps for distribution to millions of residents through the California aqueduct system.  When the SWP was built in the 1960s, planners intended to carry water to the state pumping plants through a 43-mile peripheral canal skirting the eastern edge of the Delta. For cost reasons, the originally proposed peripheral canal was not built and a subsequent statewide referendum was defeated. Over the next few decades, ever more rigorous science was developed to better understand the relationship between water infrastructure, native fisheries, and water quality.

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  • May 2018

    Aerial view of floodwaters overtopping the Fremont Weir in Knights Landing, Calif.

    The Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority is formed for the design and construction of the California WaterFix project.

  • May 2019

    Interior image of a tunnel

    The Department of Water Resources withdraws the WaterFix permit approvals and initiates planning and permitting to modernize the state’s water system with a proposed single tunnel project, known as the Delta Conveyance program.

  • January 2020

    A juvenile Delta Smelt

    The Department of Water Resources issues a Notice of Preparation for an environmental impact report on the proposed single tunnel conveyance.

Delta Conveyance Program Overview

The map below shows options for a single-tunnel proposal for the Delta Conveyance program. Browse this map to learn more about the proposed Delta Conveyance program’s components. NOTE: These maps are for discussion purposes only and are subject to change. They do not represent a decision by the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority or California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR). Final decisions about the project will be made by DWR and will NOT be made until the concluding stages of the California Environmental Quality Act process

For more detailed information on proposed facility locations, site plans, construction site photos and proposed routes for construction traffic:
DCA Map Book
DCA Bethany Alternative Map Book
DCA Virtual Tour

Current Projects

DWR is pursuing a new environmental planning process under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and will seek new permits for a single tunnel option to modernize Delta conveyance. There will be several opportunities for public participation throughout the course of the planning process. Modernizing Delta conveyance is part of the state’s Water Resilience Portfolio, which describes the framework to address California’s water challenges and support long-term water resilience and ecosystem health.
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California Department of Water Resources' contractors provide a V-groove finish on the new launch ramp as part of the boat ramp facility at Loafer Point

Environmental Review Begins

The California Department of Water Resources has released a Notice of Preparation for the Delta Conveyance Program, initiating environmental review in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.
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