The California Water Commission has approved $2.7 billion in funding for a variety of water storage projects across California — the most the state has allocated for water storage since the 1960s.
According to the Southern California Partnership for Jobs the eight proposed projects, four new dams and four underground storage projects, would boost California’s water storage capacity by 4.3 million acre-feet.
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 $7.5 billion to make needed investments in the state’s water management systems through a competitive process that funds projects based on their public benefit.
“After an intensive process, the Commission has concluded that these eight storage projects will ensure the strongest return on the public’s investment,” said Commission Chair Armando Quintero said.
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 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 to 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 Kern Fan Groundwater Storage Project, near Bakersfield in Kern County, 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 Willow Springs Water Bank Project in the Antelope Valley region 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.