Reclamation and Contra Costa Water District advance plan to increase water reliability

By on February 29, 2020
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The Bureau of Reclamation and Contra Costa Water District published final environmental documents Friday that evaluate the second phase of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project, which seeks to increase water storage capacity from 160,000 acre-feet to 275,000 acre-feet while adding new conveyance facilities.

This expansion would provide increased water supply reliability and operational flexibility to the Central Valley Project. In addition, the expansion would deliver water supplies to various Bay Area municipal and industrial water providers, as well as federally recognized wildlife refuge areas and irrigation districts in the San Joaquin Valley, and improve water deliveries to customers.

“As part of a continuing effort to increase storage capability throughout California, Reclamation and the Contra Costa Water District have been working together on evaluating the feasibility of Phase 2 of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project,” said California-Great Basin Regional Director Ernest Conant. “If constructed, the project would help ensure water is available to meet the needs of residents and businesses, along with Central Valley agriculture, habitats and species.” The Final Supplement to the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report for Phase 2 of the expansion project evaluates impacts of adding conveyance facilities and 115,000 acre-feet of storage capacity to the existing Los Vaqueros Reservoir. Completion of the environmental process is a necessary step in determining the feasibility of the project and its eligibility for federal investment.

“We greatly appreciate Commissioner Brenda Burman’s leadership and long-standing commitment to expanding Los Vaqueros and want to express appreciation for the partnership between our agencies,” said CCWD Board President Lisa Borba.

Reclamation circulated the Draft Supplement to the Final EIS/EIR for a 60-day public review and addressed submitted comments in the Final SEIS/EIR.

The final environmental documents may be viewed at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=903 and https://www.ccwater.com/993/Project-Documents.

For questions about the Final Environmental Documents, contact Marguerite Patil at mpatil@ccwater.com, or Jamie LeFevre at jlefevre@usbr.gov.