DWR Making Investments in Much-Needed Canal Repairs

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Water

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is investing more than $33 million to assist with needed canal repairs. Issues of subsidence were highlighted during the last drought that California experienced. The latest drought conditions have exacerbated the need to strengthen existing water infrastructure. DWR has released $29.8 million in funding to the Friant Water Authority (FWA) as part of the effort. FWA will use the funding to make repairs to the Friant-Kern Canal, which serves a critical role in delivering water to one million acres of farmland.


Land subsidence has reduced the original conveyance capacity of the Friant-Kern Canal by more than 60 percent. The first phase of the project to restore capacity of 33 miles of the canal began back in January. FWA Chief Executive Officer Jason Phillips said the funding from DWR is a critical component of moving forward with the project. Expected to be completed by early 2024, phase one of the overall project is projected to cost $292 million. The project is one of four that will be receiving funds as part of a $100 million initiative in the California Budget Act of 2021 to improve water conveyance systems.

Other canal repairs will be taking place in segments of the Delta-Mendota Canal. The San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority has been awarded $3.3 million in funding from DWR. The Delta-Mendota Canal helps in delivering water to 1.2 million acres of farmland in the San Benito, San Joaquin, and Santa Clara valleys.

“This initial funding award is a positive step forward to begin to mitigate the impacts of subsidence on the Delta-Mendota Canal,” Executive Director of the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority, Federico Barajas said in a news release. “We appreciate the leadership and commitment demonstrated by the Newsom Administration, our Congressional and California Legislative delegations, and the Authority member agencies, to advance this project to increase water resilience to the communities and ecosystems served by the water delivered through the Delta-Mendota Canal.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West