California Awards $2.7 Billion to Water Storage Facilities

The California Water Commission made an historic commitment to new water storage projects. Many of the largest projects planned in the state will require additional funding before construction can commence.

2 minute read

July 27, 2018, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Water Storage

Aiga Eizos / Shutterstock

"For the first time since California’s dam-building boom ended nearly a half century ago, state officials on Tuesday approved a windfall of cash for new water storage projects, setting the stage for at least a mini-resurgence of reservoir construction," reports Kurtis Alexander.

In all, the state awarded $2.7 billion of money generated by Proposition 1, approved by voters in 2014 at the height of the state's historic drought. The money will elevate two existing dams, at Los Vaqueros Reservoir near Livermore and Pacheco Reservoir east of Gilroy, and build two much larger dams in the Central Valley, the 13-mile-long Sites Reservoir along the Sacramento River and 18-mile-long Temperance Flat Reservoir on the San Joaquin River. In all, eight projects received funding, including some underground water storage projects.

In a separate article, Dale Kaslow and Ryan Sabalow report on the details of the Site Reservoir. The California Water Commission gave $816 million to the Site Reservoir, but "[d]espite the nine-figure award, Sites’ project managers weren’t pleased with the amount of funding for their $5.2 billion project. The decision by the Water Commission represents about half of what Sites’ backers originally had sought." The article also notes that the project's remaining funding will come from individual water agencies. "Sacramento Valley agricultural districts are the reservoir’s primary supporters, but farm and urban water agencies from Fresno to Los Angeles also have pledged tentatively to invest."

Yet another article by Sean Bothwell, policy director of the California Coastkeeper Alliance, pens an opinion piece about the side of the water supply equation that doesn't include building above-ground storage facilities. In Bothwell's take, Proposition 1 is responsible for investments in "brackish water desalinationsustainable groundwater managementagricultural water efficiencyrecycled water and stormwater capture." That article expresses optimism for the future of California water supply in a future defined by extreme weather—all without mentioning the new water storage the state has committed this week.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 in San Francisco Chronicle

View of Mount Hood at golden hour with Happy Valley, Oregon homes in foreground.

Clackamas County Votes to Allow ADUs, Residential RVs

County officials hope the zoning changes will help boost the housing supply in the region.

June 18, 2024 - Mountain Times

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Aerial view of intersection in New York City with yellow cabs and zebra crosswalks.

Planners’ Complicity in Excessive Traffic Deaths

Professor Wes Marshall’s provocatively-titled new book, "Killed by a Traffic Engineer," has stimulated fierce debates. Are his criticisms justified? Let’s examine the degree that traffic engineers contribute to avoidable traffic deaths.

June 13, 2024 - Todd Litman

Scooters Portland

Report: Municipal Fees and Taxes Hinder Shared Micromobility Adoption

City taxes and fees on shared bikes and scooters are, on average, much higher per mile than similar taxes on cars.

45 minutes ago - Streetsblog USA

Wildfire burning at night on hillsides next to Lake Elsinore, California.

California Faces Early Surge in Wildfires

Summer is just beginning, but wildfires in California have already burned more than 90,000 acres.

1 hour ago - Los Angeles Times

Solar panels in a green field

Solar Industry Growing Fast, but is Hampered by Aging Grid

One of solar’s biggest challenges is getting the energy where it needs to go.

2 hours ago - NBC Washington

City Planner I

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner II

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner Supervisor

Department of Housing and Community Development

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.