Jacobs to work on $17bn California WaterFix project

American technical services firm Jacobs Engineering has been selected by the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA) for engineering design management (EDM) services pertaining to the $17bn California WaterFix programme.

WaterFix, the largest water conveyance project in California, has been designed to improve the reliability of the state’s water supplies, as well as protectand enhance the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.

Scheduled to begin in early 2019, the California WaterFix programme will include the refurbishment of outdated and unreliable water infrastructure that is more than 50 years old.

The old infrastructure is dependent on levees that put clean water supply at risk from earthquakes and sea-level rise.

Jacobs COO and president of buildings, infrastructure and advanced facilities Bob Pragada said: “WaterFix is one of the highest profile infrastructure projects in the nation, essential to secure clean water supplies for 27 million people, area businesses and three million acres of agricultural land.

“Building on our long-term relationship with California water agencies, DCA will tap into our extensive water infrastructure and engineering design experience to begin modernization of California’s water delivery system.”

The company’s initial $93m contract will support the preliminary and final engineering design phase of the 15-year programme.

Major infrastructure components include three water diversion intakes (3,000cfs each) with modern fish screens; two large tunnels (40ft diameter and 35 miles long); two large pumping stations (4,500cfs each); and new roads and utility relocations.

After more than a decade of studies, WaterFix has emerged as the most effective solution to California’s water shortages and improve environmental conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, including lessening the harmful effects of the existing infrastructure diversions near endangered fish habitats and reinstating natural river flows.

WaterFix project is expected to generate 122,000 jobs for the region and offer greater water security, as well as improved disaster preparedness and climate change resilience for California residents, businesses and agriculture that obtain their water from the Delta.