State officials say that it will take 30 to 45 days to repair damage detected this week at a key point in the state's system for shipping water from the Delta to farms in the San Joaquin Valley and to cities from Silicon Valley to Los Angeles.
But the Department of Water Resources says the damage, involving extensive underwater erosion around a concrete intake structure at Clifton Court Forebay in eastern Contra Costa County, should not result in an interruption of water deliveries to any of its many farm and city customers.
The forebay is a small reservoir that holds water to be pumped from the State Water Project's pumps into the California and South Bay aqueducts.
The problem grows indirectly out of California's extraordinarily wet winter and resulting high flows down the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers into the Delta.
The State Water Project took the opportunity to run its Delta pumps full bore for weeks on end to ship water south. The resulting high flows are believed to have contributed to erosion around the concrete apron at the intake gates at the reservoir's southeastern corner.