Agencies celebrates completion of Santa Rosa Water Reclamation Facility rehab project

Ribbon cutting ceremony marks phase 1 Friant-Kern Canal fix

The Bureau of Reclamation, Friant Water Authority, and California Department of Water Resources held a ribbon cutting celebration last week to mark the completion of Phase 1 of the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project. The project will restore capacity to 33 miles of the existing Friant-Kern Canal damaged from subsidence—a sinking of the earth from groundwater removal.

Phase 1 of the project focused on the construction of 10 miles of new concrete-lined canal to replace one of the worst pinch points of the canal’s subsiding middle reach.

“Today’s ribbon cutting celebration is a shining example of what can happen when federal, state, and local agencies partner together in pursuit of future water security,” said Reclamation Regional Director Karl Stock. “This celebration marks an important milestone for one of Reclamation’s most critical priorities: to provide water supply reliability to one of the most productive agriculture regions in the nation.”

“There are few bigger priorities in water management than readying ourselves to move and store water when it’s wet. It takes partnerships like this between federal, state, and local governments to make sure our infrastructure is up to the task,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “That’s why DWR is so excited to celebrate today’s milestone on the federal Friant-Kern Canal. We look forward to similar partnerships to ensure that the California Aqueduct and Delta Mendota Canal are rehabilitated to meet the challenges of weather whiplash that lie ahead.”

“Nelson Mandela once said, ‘it always seems impossible until it’s done,’ and there’s no better way to describe the efforts of all the partners involved in the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Project,” said Friant Water Authority Chief Executive Officer Jason Phillips. “The completion of Phase 1 will provide incalculable benefits for the farms, communities, and people of the Friant Division for decades. The Friant Water Authority looks forward to working with our project partners to protect the enormous investment made and to ensure that those benefits can be realized long after we are all gone.”

The project was funded by Reclamation, Friant Water Authority, and DWR. Phase 2 of the project will address correcting subsidence-related deficiencies in the portion of the Middle Reach section not addressed in Phase 1. Phase 2 of the project has been awarded more than $22 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law through President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda for planning and design.

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