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Three Delta Disasters that Could Disrupt California’s Water Supply

Storms, quakes and creeping saltwater intrusion could all spell trouble at the tap

California Conservation Corps

California Conservation Corps workers repairing a levee in the San Francisco Bay-Delta. The levees are a vital defense for farmland and communities but are vulnerable to sea level rise and quakes.

In the conclusion of her three part series, “California’s Deadlocked Delta,” KQED science reporter Lauren Sommer explores how climate change will affect the San Francisco Bay-Delta’s already foundering ecosystems and further complicate management of this critical hub of California’s water supply.

For those who know little about the massive estuary an hour east of downtown San Francisco, the Delta is the meeting place of two of the state’s largest river systems, the Sacramento and San Joaquin. Flowing down from Sierra snowfields and lakes, the two rivers converge in this 1600-square-mile tangle of tidal marshes, sloughs and canals. Continue reading