The California Aqueduct’s Flow May Be Reversed to Combat Drought
Some of California’s central districts are facing dangerously low supplies of water as the state’s megadrought continues. To address this scary prospect, 47 miles of the 400-mile California Aqueduct could have their flow reversed this summer. But even with this dramatic reversal of water flow, the affected districts would only be getting five percent of the normal water allotments and they won’t be getting it until September, 2014.
There’s a slight decline from the section of aqueduct that runs from Northern to Southern California, 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 8 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,” said the General Manager of the Kern County Water Agency, which is putting together the flow-reversing plan. The $10-million scheme still has to be approved by the California Department of Water Resources, which is responsible for operating the aqueduct.
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