This year’s dry winter has caused all manner of concern, but it also created an unexpected benefit for the Delta. Minimal rainfall has allowed aggressive construction on several Delta levee improvement projects approved by the Delta Stewardship Council.
The projects will improve levees that protect islands on the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s (EBMUD) Mokelumne Aqueduct. Serving 1.3 million customers, the aqueduct traverses the Delta as it moves water from the Sierra Nevada to the East Bay Area.
Eileen White, EBMUD’s manager of operations and maintenance, explained the importance of this project at the Delta Stewardship Council’s (Council) January meeting.
“We’ve been able to make incredible progress since you approved these projects in July,” White said. “Thanks to your action and a dry winter, we were able to put people to work and …improve the stability of these levees.”
According to White, four projects are nearly complete, and are doing more than protecting levees. By planting trees in the setback area above the ordinary high water mark, the projects are creating riverine habitat where fish can gather and seek cover.
The nine projects approved to date are among those identified by the Department of Water Resources in 2010 as eligible to receive state funds under the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006.
To view Delta Aqueduct Protection Projects agenda materials, click here.
To view the East Bay MUD’s presentation at the Jan. Council meeting, click here.
To view the article on the original projects, click here.