Department of the Interior Invests $152 Million to Expand Water Storage in the West

The Department of the Interior announced last Thursday that it is investing $152 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in water infrastructure projects in California, Colorado and Washington. The goal of the six storage and conveyance projects is to provide reliable water to communities across the west. The projects are expected to develop at least 1.7 million acre-feet of additional water storage capacity. The funding will also invest in a feasibility study that could advance water storage capacity once completed.

Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Bureau of Reclamation is also investing a total of $8.3 billion over five years for water infrastructure projects, including water purification and reuse, water storage and conveyance, desalination and dam safety. The Inflation Reduction Act is investing an additional $4.6 billion to address the historic drought.

“Water is essential to every community – for feeding families, growing crops, powering agricultural businesses and sustaining wildlife,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton in the release. “Our investment in these projects will increase water storage capacity and lay conveyance pipeline to deliver reliable and safe drinking water and build resiliency for communities most impacted by drought.”

The selected projects for California from the announcement are:

  • B.F. Sisk Dam Raise and Reservoir Expansion Project: $10 million to the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Authority, to pursue the B.F. Sisk Dam Raise and Reservoir Expansion Project. The project is associated with the B.F. Sisk Safety of Dams Modification Project. Once completed, the project will develop approximately 130,000 acre-feet of additional storage.
  • Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Phase II: $10 million to efficiently integrate approximately 115,000 acre-feet of additional water storage through new conveyance facilities with existing facilities. This will allow Delta water supplies to be safely diverted, stored and delivered to beneficiaries.
  • North of Delta Off Stream Storage (Sites Reservoir Project): $30 million to pursue off stream storage capable for up to 1.5 million acre-feet of water in the Sacramento River system located in the Coast range mountains west of Maxwell, California. The reservoir would utilize new and existing facilities to move water in and out of the reservoir, with ultimate release to the Sacramento River system via existing canals, a new pipeline near Dunnigan, and the Colusa Basin Drain.

Read the full press release from the Department of the Interior here.

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