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Major Accomplishments: Delta-Mendota Canal/California Aqueduct Intertie Project

Static image:  photo - The Delta-Mendota Canal and the California Aqueduct
The Delta-Mendota Canal and the California Aqueduct.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar led a groundbreaking ceremony in October 2010 for an integral link between the two Central Valley canals to improve water supply reliability south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Although the Delta-Mendota Canal/California Aqueduct Intertie project, at a cost of $28 million, may be considered relatively small compared to many other water infrastructure improvements, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Mike Connor, and several other leaders attended the ceremony, emphasizing the project’s importance because it adds operational flexibility and more efficient use of a limited water supply in an area hard hit by dry conditions and loss of jobs. (See page 30 for all participants.)

Reclamation provided nearly $16 million in 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, which combined with other funding sources, made it possible to begin construction of the planned Intertie. Reclamation, the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority, and the California Department of Water Resources are partnering to construct the project.

The Intertie will potentially increase average annual deliveries to the Central Valley Project by as much as 35,000 acre-feet by addressing conveyance conditions in the Delta-Mendota Canal that restrict use of the C. W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant near Tracy to less than its design capacity. The link, via two 108-inch diameter pipelines that are 500-feet long, will allow more conveyance to storage south of the Delta, provide redundancy in the distribution system in case of emergency, and make maintenance and repair work less disruptive to water deliveries.

interactive image:  photo - Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor delivers an address at the Intertie groundbreaking ceremony; click for larger photo
Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor delivers an address at the Intertie groundbreaking ceremony.
interactive image:  photo - Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, speaks at the Intertie groundbreaking ceremony, October 14, 2010; click for larger photo
Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, speaks at the Intertie groundbreaking ceremony, October 14, 2010.

The Delta-Mendota Canal receives water pumped by the Jones plant and is the primary federal delivery facility sending water to Central Valley Project contractors south of the Delta. The State Water Project’s California Aqueduct operates in much the way.

A construction contract for the Intertie, in an unincorporated area of the San Joaquin Valley in Alameda County, west of the city of Tracy, was awarded to Shimmick Construction Co. of Oakland, Calif., in July 2010. The project will provide about 160 construction jobs and is expected to be completed in 2012.

More information can be found at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/intertie/.

interactive image:  photo - Diver begins cutting canal’s concrete liner in the first stages of the project; click for larger photo
interactive image:  photo - Dianne Feinstein is interviewed by the media at the Intertie groundbreaking ceremony; click for larger photo
interactive image:  photo - This January 2011 photograph shows excavation work for a pump plant intake for the project; click for larger photo
Diver begins cutting canal’s concrete liner in the first stages of the project. Dianne Feinstein is interviewed by the media at the Intertie groundbreaking ceremony. This January 2011 photograph shows excavation work for a pump plant intake for the project.
interactive image:  photo - Regional Director Don Glaser speaks at the Intertie groundbreaking ceremony; click for larger photo
interactive image:  photo - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and California Senator Dianne Feinstein at the Intertie groundbreaking ceremony; click for larger photo
Project Benefits

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Improve reliability of water deliveries to south of Delta contractors
Provide the capability to store more water, earlier in San Luis Reservoir
Allow flexibility during maintenance or emergencies
Regional Director Don Glaser speaks at the Intertie groundbreaking ceremony. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and California Senator Dianne Feinstein at the Intertie groundbreaking ceremony.
interactive image:  photo - Ceremonial start of the project: Shown from left, Mike Stearns, San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority Chairman; David Hayes,  Deputy Secretary of the Interior; Mike Connor,  Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner; Congressman Dennis Cardoza, District 18; Congressman Jerry McNerney, District 11; Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior; California Senator Dianne Feinstein; Congressman Jim Costa, District 20; California Assembly Member Anna Caballero, District 28; and Lester Snow, Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency; click for larger photo Ceremonial start of the project: Shown from left, Mike Stearns, San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority Chairman; David Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Interior; Mike Connor, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner; Congressman Dennis Cardoza, District 18; Congressman Jerry McNerney, District 11; Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior; California Senator Dianne Feinstein; Congressman Jim Costa, District 20; California Assembly Member Anna Caballero, District 28; and Lester Snow, Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency.

“Any project like the Intertie that allows us to make more efficient use of limited water resources, particularly south of the Delta in the San Joaquin Valley, is always going to be viewed as critically important and a high priority.” — Regional Director Don Glaser

March 31, 2011