Friant Water Authority Takes Action to Support Temperance Flat

An Action Plan for the Future of Temperance Flat

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In an action designed to expedite the steps necessary to approve and initiate the construction of Temperance Flat Dam, the Friant Water Authority (FWA) Board of Directors approved the creation of special activities agreement to fund work necessary for completing feasibility, engineering and other analysis to help potential investors determine the feasibility of participation. The work is estimated to cost approximately $1 million per year for the next 2 years. This important work will be done in parallel with work FWA has already started to develop appropriate entity that will be required for the implementation of construction and operation of the new reservoir. This entity will be governed by the investing agencies for the project and should be up and operating by the beginning of 2018.

What’s at Stake

Millions of Californians south of the Delta are dependent upon Central Valley Project water to serve their agricultural, municipal, industrial, and environmental needs. Increasing regulatory burden has diminished the capability of the Central Valley Project to consistently meet its authorized project purposes. The reduction in surface water deliveries has resulted in greater dependence upon groundwater, overdraft of aquifers, subsidence that has harmed infrastructure, and additional hardships, especially for rural disadvantaged communities. In addition, full implementation of the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act will create an untenable water supply situation for many water users.

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Recognizing that Temperance Flat Reservoir can contribute to providing relief from these challenges, the FWA is collaborating with the San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority, San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority, and San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority to develop equitable, mutually beneficial solutions to help address the diminishing water supplies and regulatory burdens facing our water users, and potentially others Statewide.  Also of critical importance, FWA is ensuring that the project would be implemented in a manner that fully protects water rights and contract deliveries for existing water users within the Friant Division of the Central Valley Project.

Working with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation the FWA and its partners expect to develop an operations plan and Proposition 1 Chapter 8 storage grant application. The operations plan would build upon previous Reclamation studies, and provide clarity to how any investor – including the State of California – will benefit from new investments in storage on the San Joaquin River.