Southern California’s most powerful water agency is prepared to invest in Sacramento Valley’s proposed Sites Reservoir, a move that could broaden support for the $4.4 billion project but also raise alarms about a south state “water grab.” The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California would pour $1.5 million into pre-development work at Sites if Metropolitan’s board accepts a recommendation made by its executive staff Wednesday. The board plans to vote on the investment next Tuesday.
Archive for date: April 6th, 2017
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The repair job at the battered Oroville Dam spillway lacks a price tag and a finalized design. But it has drawn the interest of four leading construction contractors, all with experience in big dam projects. The four contenders for the project are Kiewit Corp. of Omaha, Neb.; Granite Construction of Watsonville; Barnard Construction Co. of Bozeman, Mont.; and ASI Constructors Inc. of Pueblo West, Colo., according to the Department of Water Resources. DWR released its repair plan Thursday, acknowledging the work won’t be finished until 2018 and will leave the fractured spillway partially undone when the next rainy season begins this fall.
Gov. Jerry Brown waived some permitting and review requirements Thursday for Oroville Dam as California rushes to repair a main spillway that partially washed away under heavy winter runoff. Brown signed an executive order directing state agencies to make repairs at the dam, the nation’s tallest, a priority. The order waives some of the environmental reviews and other requirements that could slow the push to have the concrete spillway operational by November, when the next rainy season starts.
Wildlife agencies are still writing the permits that would be required to build Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels, but bits and pieces of the draft documents have been posted online, along with a report from a independent peer-review panel of scientists. While the scientists’ job wasn’t to directly weigh the merits of the tunnels, they did examine the methods that the wildlife agencies are using to measure the project’s impact in a wide range of areas.
State officials said Thursday that they hope to sign a contract for reconstruction of the heavily damaged Lake Oroville spillway by April 17. “We’re working very fast,” said Bill Croyle, acting director of the Department of Water Resources, which is under intense pressure to get the spillway in shape before the start of next winter’s rainy season. Although Croyle said the department has to conduct in nine months design and construction work that would normally take several years to complete, he expressed confidence that it was possible.