Central Valley project

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Central Valley project

Central Valley project, central Calif., long-term general scheme for the utilization of the water of the Sacramento River basin in the north for the benefit of the farmlands of the San Joaquin Valley in the south, undertaken by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1935. The program's concerns are flood control; improvement of navigation; the development of hydroelectric power, irrigation, and municipal and industrial water supply; protection of the Sacramento delta from seawater encroachment; and the propagation and preservation of fish and wildlife. Shasta and Keswick dams on the Sacramento River, and Friant Dam, on the San Joaquin River, were among the first units built. Canals, such as the Friant-Kern, the Madera, the Delta Cross Channel (which uses Sacramento water to fight soil salinity in the delta), and the Delta-Mendota, are used to transport water throughout the valley. Among the hydroelectric dams are San Luis, Spring Creek, Judge Francis Carr, and Auburn. Folsom Dam is one of the several units constructed in the valley by the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

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