California Water Commission Approves Final Application Scores for Water Storage Projects

By on July 3, 2018

Proposition 1, approved by 67 percent of California voters in 2014, dedicated $2.7 billion for the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP) and created a competitive process for funding projects based on their public benefit. Of that amount 2 percent has been set aside for bond financing and 2.5 percent has been reserved for state administrative costs over the life of the program; the total funding available is now $2.582 billion.

With the available funds determined the California Water Commission (CWC) has been evaluating, and ranking, and most recently, scoring projects with a team scientists, engineers, hydrologists and other subject matter experts from the California Water Commission, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board.

CWC has now approved final application scores for eight proposed water storage projects, clearing the way to award nearly $2.7 billion in Proposition 1 funds to help expand the state’s water storage capacity. CWC also made a series of determinations required for each project to move forward in the process.

The most recent actions by the Commission allow them to conditionally award the Proposition 1 funds at its July 24-26 meeting. The Commission will consider requests from four applicants for early funding to help complete feasibility studies and environmental reviews.

“We are now on the doorstep of awarding funding from Proposition 1 to water storage projects across California,” Commission Chair Armando Quintero said. “We eagerly look forward to next month when we can make preliminary awards to these diverse projects that collectively will add 4.3 million acre-feet of water storage capacity to California.”

The component scores have been combined to create a cumulative Total Return on Public Investment Score for each project, as required by Proposition 1 and WSIP regulations. CSC staff will use the cumulative scores to rank the projects in tiers, which will help guide the preliminary funding decisions in July. Applicants will then need to complete remaining requirements in Proposition 1, including feasibility studies and environmental reviews, before CWC can make a final funding award for each project.

The summary below are the final scores adopted by CWC for each project, along with each applicant’s funding request and maximum funding eligibility as determined in May:

Additional details for CWC’s final application scores are available at: https://cwc.ca.gov/Documents/2018/WSIP/FinalScoresTable.pdf.