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Seismic Hazards in the Sacramento Delta


Issue / Impacts / Project Objectives / Staff


  • Delta is source for some or all water for 2/3 of Californians
  • Many levee wrapped islands with interior elevation below sea level, extensive levee failure could lead to sea-water inundation and disrupt water supply system
  • Significant additional infrastructure (road/railroad/power transmission) and development (housing, commercial) on levees or adjacent lowlands
  • Significant earthquake hazard dominated by poorly understood faults in and near Delta region, levees not engineered for earthquake stresses, levees largely privately owned, prohibitive expense for levee replacement
  • Endangered species issues could be exacerbated by levee failure
  • Levee stress is increased by continued sea level rise and continued pumping to maintain dry land for farming

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