Where does our water come from?

Water is essential to our daily lives, but few Californians stop to think about where our water comes from and how it gets to us. 

Depending on where you live in California, your water may come from a nearby well or river. Or it may travel hundreds of miles to reach your tap.

Millions of Californians rely on complex delivery systems such as the State Water Project or the federal Central Valley Project to bring water from distant sources.  Those systems were developed to supply our cities, farms, businesses and the environment with adequate water year-round. The systems are necessary because California’s Mediterranean-style climate means we receive little or no rain for months at a time. The ability to store and move water has made it possible for California to grow and prosper.

The non-profit Water Education Foundation’s Where Does My Water Come From educational tool is an excellent resource for understanding more about where your household’s water comes from.