U.S. Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) introduced legislation calling for new federal and state investment in California’s water infrastructure, and expediting construction on existing storage projects to improve water reliability across the state. The current drought has highlighted the dire need for long-term water solutions, especially increasing the state’s storage capacity.
Costa’s legislation would authorize construction at Shasta Dam, San Luis Reservoir and Temperance Flat.
“Every region and political interest in the state agree that we must expand our storage capacity,” said Costa, a member of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committees. “After three dry years, the case for this is being made every day as our reservoirs statewide are turning into mud pits during this drought. Our grandparents’ foresight has carried us for decades, but the bill has come due for our state to again invest in storage.”
The expansion of the three projects is part of a coordinated, state-wide effort to help California prepare for future dry years. Cost of construction would be split between the federal and state governments along local water users.
The three bills would:
• Expand San Luis Reservoir to increase storage capacity by 130,000 acre feet of storage with an approximate annual yield of 40,000 acre feet. The total cost of the project would be an estimated $360 million, with approximately $240 million of that already being invested for seismic improvements.
• Raise Shasta Dam to add an additional 634,000 acre feet of storage to the dam and increase annual yield by 76,000 acre feet and add 76,000-133,000 acre feet to the system during dry years. Estimated for the total cost of the project is $1.1 billion.
Construct Temperance Flat (Upper San Joaquin River Storage) to create 1.3 million acre feet of storage with an annual yield of 60,000-75,000 acre feet and in dry years an additional 103,000-254,400 acre feet would be added to the system at a cost of around $2.5 billion.