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California’s Crumbling Delta Levees


California, USA
Two-thirds of California residents rely on fresh water pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, but the levees here are more than 100 years old and ready to give in. A failure would no doubt flood hundreds of acres across the north, but it could also compromise drinking water for the entire state. There are at least four major drivers of change that are seeking to undo these levees: the continued subsidence of the islands, the increasing force on the levees, sea level rise, and the fourth one is earthquakes. A very intense look by the state in the past year suggested that you will have catastrophic levee failure in this system even if you make all these investments in improving their performance due to high water. The reason? The foundations. To replace the foundations, to make them seismically safe, is an extraordinary cost.

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