clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

There's a Plan to Reverse the Flow of the California Aqueduct This Summer

New, 1 comment

Forty-seven miles of the 400-mile California Aqueduct could have their flow reversed this summer to bring water to dry Central California districts with dangerously low supplies, reports KQED. As this megadrought's persisted and worsened, it's come to light that many water districts, especially the smaller ones, haven't had the chance (read: the money) to stockpile water as we do here in SoCal. Some districts near the stretch of the aqueduct that could get reversed have been warned that they'll only be getting five percent of the normal water allotments—and that won't come until September. Desperate times call for creative, unprecedented solutions, like reversing the flow of 47 miles of watercourse. How do you even do that?

There's a slight decline from the Northern California end of the aqueduct running down to SoCal, so reversing the water will mean defying gravity; it'll require the help of as many as 12 diesel pumps, "each the size of a large truck engine." The engines could move about eight million gallons a day to parts of Kern County.

"This is a year where I'm doing a lot of things I've never seen in my career," the GM of the Kern County Water Agency, which is putting together the flow-reversing plan, told KQED. The $10-million scheme still has to be approved by the California's Department of Water Resources, which operates the aqueduct.