The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is supporting upgrades to water conveyance facilities throughout the state. A $100 million funding program was recently announced to restore capacity to areas of the California Aqueduct, San Luis Canal, Delta-Mendota Canal, and Friant-Kern Canal. Collectively, the four canals help provide water to nearly three million acres of farmland and 130,000 acres of wetlands.
“Fixing these canals is an important foundational piece to ensure a reliable and climate resilient water supply for California,” DWR Director Karla Nemeth said in a press release. “It enables us to move water during very wet conditions, which will be essential to adapting to more extreme weather. Restoring capacity in our existing infrastructure provides a critical link in diversifying water supplies by supporting groundwater replenishment throughout the Central Valley and water recycling projects in Southern California. It’s a prudent investment in our water future.”
The funding program to improve water conveyance through California is aimed at addressing issues of subsidence that have reduced overall water carrying capacity. Up to $37 million will be provided to the State Water Project’s California Aqueduct and San Luis Canal during the first year of the program. The Friant Water Authority is receiving $39.2 million to help support conveyance within the Friant Kern Canal. The San Luis Delta-Mendota Authority is also receiving $23.8 million for improvements to the Delta-Mendota Canal. Funding for the projects is being made possible through the 2021-22 State Budget Act, which also authorizes an additional $100 million for the next fiscal year.
The funding support will be used for the planning, permitting, and construction of rehabilitation projects to address subsidence. Recipients will also be working to assess future risks and develop plans for mitigating continued subsidence moving forward. Once completed, the water conveyance upgrades will help restore up to 50 percent of the overall capacity of the canals over the coming decade.