Sacramento, CA — A top state water official is warning that a significant San Francisco earthquake could devastate the water system for two-thirds of Californians for more than a year, causing billions of dollars in damage and economic disruption.
Much of the state´s water supply flows through the delta east of San Francisco.
Salt water from San Francisco Bay is held back by fresh water from Northern California rivers, and by a series of artificial islands created over the last 150 years with makeshift levees.
Lester Snow, director of the California Department of Water Resources says those levees would likely fall like dominos with a nearby earthquake. Skeptics say no delta levee has collapsed because of an earthquake.