CONCORD, CA (Aug. 1, 2023) — Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project Joint Powers Authority will receive $10 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation.
The funding will go toward furthering the project’s goals of improving Bay Area and Central Valley water supply. The funds will also support wildlife refuges along the Pacific Flyway, a vital migratory route for critical bird populations.
According to the National Audubon Society, each year at least one billion birds migrate along the flyway. This is only a fraction of those that used it a century ago. Wildlife refuges along the Pacific Flyway provide protection against habitat loss, water shortages, diminishing food sources and climate change.
Additionally, the expansion will increase the Los Vaqueros Reservoir capacity from 160,000 acre-feet to 275,000 acre-feet and add new and modified conveyance facilities to provide environmental, water supply reliability, operational flexibility, water quality and recreational benefits.
“We are grateful to Reclamation for acknowledging the importance of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project and the role it will play in providing water supply reliability for 11 million customers and protection of critical bird populations from the Bay Area to the Central Valley,” said Board Chair Angela Ramirez Holmes. “Our partnership with Reclamation is invaluable and will help ensure quality of life now and for future generations.”
The $10 million allocation today is authorized under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, approved by Congress in November 2021, and is in addition to a previously awarded $164 million from all federal sources for the reservoir expansion project. The project was previously authorized for federal funding under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016.
“We appreciate the ongoing federal support of this project that is vital to millions of Californians and key wildlife refuges,” said Los Vaqueros Reservoir Joint Powers Authority Executive Director Taryn Ravazzini. “The allocation of these funds marks another milestone and allows the LVR JPA and its members to continue our progress toward regional resilience.”