SoCal Water Projects Win $388M in State Funding
The California Water Commission has approved $2.7 billion in funding for a variety of water storage projects across California. The eight proposed projects would boost California’s water storage capacity by 4.3 million acre-feet. 0ne acre-foot is enough to cover an acre of land with one foot of water.
The funding came from Proposition 1, a state water bond approved by California voters in 2014. The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, provides a $7.5 billion water bond to make needed investments in the state’s water management systems through a competitive process that funds projects based on their public benefit, for example offering boat recreation, improvements to fish habitat or wastewater treatment.
The $2.7 billion commitment to help the construction of four new dams and four underground storage projects is the most the state has allocated for water storage since construction of the State Water Project, which consists of 21 dams and hundreds of miles of canals, built largely in the 1960s.
“Today marks a major milestone for the Commission and project applicants,” Commission Chair Armando Quintero said. “After an intensive process, the Commission has concluded that these eight storage projects will ensure the strongest return on the public’s investment.”
Three Southern California projects won funding: $207 million to expand the Chino Basin water recycling program; $86 million for the Kern Fan groundwater storage project near Bakersfield; and $95 million for the Willow Springs groundwater bank in Kern County.
The Chino Basin Project, located in San Bernardino County, involves the construction of an advanced water treatment facility and distribution system that will treat and store up to 15,000 acre‐feet per year of recycled water for 25 years in the Chino Basin Water Bank. This Inland Empire Utilities Agency project will create a new local water supply for use by cities, businesses and farms in San Bernardino County that will reduce the region’s use of imported supplies from Northern California. The total cost of the project is $480M.
The Kern Fan Groundwater Storage Project near Bakersfield in Kern County was proposed jointly by the Irvine Ranch Water District and the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District. The project will recharge and store groundwater for subsequent recovery to address the following project objectives: enhance water supply reliability; reduce imported water demands on the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary; provide water supply during drought conditions; and provide water supply for emergency response benefits. The total cost of the project is $171 million.
The Willow Springs Water Bank Project located in the Antelope Valley/ Mojave Desert region of Kern County is operated by the Southern California Water Bank Authority. WSWB is a conjunctive use facility that coordinates the use of surface water and groundwater. The project is designed to provide water authorities the ability to store up to 500,000 acre-feet of water in underground aquifers during wet years for use during droughts. The total cost of the project is $343M.
Southern California Partnership for Jobs supports infrastructure investment. We advocated for the passage of SB 1, a new transportation funding source that is becoming ever more critical for California. We oppose any efforts to repeal SB 1 that would rob our communities of vital road safety and transportation improvement funds.
No on Prop 6: Stop the Attack on Bridge and Road Safety.