In today’s Water Works, brought to you by AquiMax, after several years of public meetings and evaluations the California Water Commission has finally approved spending $2.5 billion dollars on eight water storage projects. The funding for the projects is made possible by the Proposition 1 water bond that was passed in 2014.
The largest amount awarded was $816 million for the construction of Sites Reservoir. The project will become California’s seventh largest reservoir, storing approximately 1.8 million acre-feet of water. The overall cost of construction is estimated at $5.2 billion.
The Contra Costa Water District was approved to receive $459 million to raise the height of the dam at Los Vaqueros Reservoir, increasing the storage capacity by roughly 70 percent. The total project cost is estimated at $980 million.
A total of $485 million was awarded to the Santa Clara Valley Water District to construct a dam which will hold 140,000 acre-feet of water at Pacheco Pass. Construction would begin in approximately six years and is estimated to cost a total of $969 million.
The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District will receive $280 million to use with the South County Ag Program to treat recycled wastewater and provide it to farmers in Sacramento County.
The Inland Empire Utilities Agency will be using the approved $207 million in conditional funding for the Chino Basin Conjunctive Use Program. The groundwater storage bank in San Bernardino County will provide up to 15,000 acre-feet of recycled wastewater a year and cost a total of $480 million to construct.
The Temperance Flat Reservoir Project was approved for only $172 million. The reservoir would add 1.3 million acre-feet of water storage at an estimated total cost of $2.6 billion.
A little more than $95 million was approved for the Willow Springs Water Bank near Rosamond in Kern County. The project was proposed by the Southern California Water Bank Authority and will add 500,000 acre-feet of new storage.
The Kern Fan Groundwater Storage Project near Bakersfield will store up to 100,000 acre-feet of water from the State Water Project and was approved for $67 million in funding.
Local agencies will have until January 2022 to raise the remaining funding necessary for the water storage projects, or the projects will lose the state funding that has been approved.
Listen to the report.