Two of the barriers would be aimed at reducing freshwater outflows from the Sacramento River, allowing it to better hold back sediment that would creep in from San Francisco Bay as river flows dwindle because of the drought.
The goal of the other barrier would be to keep salinity from seeping into the central Delta.
The Sacramento Bee reports () that the California Department of Water Resources is scrambling to obtain permits for the project, which could cost as much as $40 million. The goal is to place the barriers as soon as May 1.
But the plan is drawing criticism from farmers who draw irrigation water from the channels that would be dammed.
California has received less than 60 percent of the rain and snow this water year that it normally gets. Water managers are warning the new water year may be just as bad.
New motors, screens, and some casing repairs are in the works for eight of Sacramento's water wells. Some of the wells are more than 400-feet deep.
A long-range U.S. government forecast shows the drought in California will stick around.
The drought has farmers cutting back on watering, but some San Joaquin County growers say less water can mean a better crop.
The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities reports Friday that city water customers saved more than one-billion gallons of water last month.