Clifton Court Forebay

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Clifton Court Forebay
Location San Joaquin River Delta
Contra Costa County, California
Coordinates 37°49′48″N 121°33′24″W / 37.8299°N 121.5568°W / 37.8299; -121.5568[1]Coordinates: 37°49′48″N 121°33′24″W / 37.8299°N 121.5568°W / 37.8299; -121.5568[1]
Type Reservoir
Primary inflows Old River
Primary outflows California Aqueduct
Delta–Mendota Canal
Catchment area 6 square miles (16 km2)[2]
Basin countries United States
Max. length 2.5 miles (4.0 km)
Max. width 2 miles (3.2 km)
Surface area 2,500 acres (1,000 ha)[2]
Water volume 29,000 acre·ft (36,000,000 m3)[2]
Surface elevation 3 feet (0.91 m)[1]

Clifton Court Forebay is an artificial reservoir in the San Joaquin River Delta of Contra Costa County, California, 17 miles (27 km) southwest of Stockton.


The body of water was created in 1969 by inundating a 2,200-acre (890 ha) tract as part of the California State Water Project.[3] It serves as the intake point of the California Aqueduct for transport to Southern California, and feeds the Delta–Mendota Canal (a part of the Central Valley Project) to recharge San Joaquin Valley river systems.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

A documentary about the decline of the United States' infrastructure, The Crumbling of America,[4] was commissioned by the U.S. A&E network in the late 2000s. The documentary is typically shown on the History television channel in the United States, although other educational broadcasters globally have shown it. It features the Clifton Court Forebay as a "strategic piece of California freshwater infrastructure" subject to shutdown for up to two years if struck by an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 or greater.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Clifton Court Forebay". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ a b c "Dams Within the Jurisdiction of the State of California (A-G)". California Department of Water Resources, Division of Safety of Dams. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ Kevin W. Clark; Mark D. Bowen; Ryan B. Mayfield; Katherine P. Zehfuss; Justin D. Taplin; and Charles H. Hanson (March 2009). Quantification of Pre-Screen Loss of Juvenile Steelhead in Clifton Court Forebay (.PDF). California Natural Resources Agency, Department of Water Resources, State of California. pp. 1–3. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  4. ^ "The Crumbling of America (2:49 introductory clip)". Retrieved 2013-09-11.