By Damon Micalizzi
Are you ready for the Big One? In California, we get perpetual reminders that the Big One could come at any moment. Recent earthquakes in Mexico and Japan have served as sobering examples that perhaps it truly is not “if” but “when,” and readying our emergency kits could mean the difference between survival and complete devastation. It is also important to remember that, whether the Big One comes a year from now or ten years from now, until the California WaterFix is built, California is not ready.
There is a 72 percent chance that a 6.7 magnitude earthquake will hit the Bay area by 2030. Much of Southern California’s water supply travels through Bay Delta levees before entering the State Water Project. Already in decline, a major earthquake would destroy earthen levees in the Delta, inundating freshwater with seawater. Evolving environmental factors, changes in the weather, and sea level rise are slowly doing the same thing. The Delta is one of the most vulnerable areas of arguably the most important piece of water infrastructure in the state.