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$12 Million Emergency Delta Dam Project To Protect Pumps From Salt Water During Drought

OAKLEY (CBS SF) -- An emergency dam is being built in the Delta due to California's drought.

The $12 million construction project is already underway across West False River between Jersey and Bradford Islands to stop the flow of salt water from reaching critical fresh water pumps.

Yacht Harbormaster Chris Lauritzen's family has lived in the Delta for more than a century, and has concerns that the project is too little too late.

"It's a band-aid.  It's an absolute band-aid," Lauritzen said.

He claims the state is causing the problem.

"The reality is that the state is not releasing enough water to keep the salt out of the Delta.  That's the number one problem," Lauritzen said.

The emergency project will be completed quickly.  After the work on shore is completed, the construction crews will work around the clock until they complete the gap.

It will take approximately one month to close the 800-foot wide channel, but the dam will be removed next fall to allow winter rainfall to flow past.

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