Sacramento, Calif. — Eight proposed projects that would boost California’s water storage capacity by 4.3 million acre-feet are in line to receive nearly $2.7 billion in Proposition 1 funding following action by the California Water Commission.
The Commission approved conditional funding amounts for the projects, which range from expanding existing reservoirs to boosting groundwater storage to building 21st century surface storage facilities. Applicants must complete remaining Proposition 1 requirements, including final permits, environmental documents and commitments for non-Proposition 1 funding, by Jan. 1, 2022, to receive a final funding award from the Commission.
“Today marks a major milestone for the Commission and project applicants,” Commission Chair Armando Quintero said. “After an intensive process, the Commission has concluded that these eight storage projects will ensure the strongest return on the public’s investment. We applaud the applicants for their hard work to get to this point, and we are confident they will use this momentum to do the remaining work needed to secure these crucial investments in California’s water future.”
The Commission also approved requests from three applicants to receive a portion of their funding early to help complete permits and environmental documents. The three projects are Sites Reservoir, Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion, and Pacheco Reservoir Expansion. Proposition 1 allows applicants to receive up to 5 percent of their Commission-approved conditional funding amount as early funding.
Moving forward, the Commission will continue meeting with applicants, state agencies and stakeholders to review the status of each project. Once an applicant has obtained all necessary permits, contracts, and documents, the Commission will hold a final funding hearing.
Proposition 1, approved by 67 percent of California voters in 2014, created a competitive process for funding projects based on their public benefit aspects. The projects were evaluated and ranked on criteria established in the Water Storage Investment Program regulations.
Proposition 1 dedicated $2.7 billion for the Water Storage Investment Program. As noted at the beginning of the application process, 2 percent of that amount is set aside for bond financing and 2.5 percent is set aside for state administrative costs over the life of the program, so the total funding available is $2.582 billion.