Trying to Keep the Taps in California Running

Buildings may topple and lives may be lost if the Big One shakes the wrong part of California but another catastrophic consequence of an enormous earthquake in the San Francisco area may involve water. Two thirds of the state’s drinking water supply flows through the gigantic Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region east of San Francisco Bay — and the levees that help direct the massive amounts of water south to farmlands and cities are so antiquated that many may simply collapse with a major temblor.