It’s been 14 years since California officials first approved the Black Rock power plant, which would have tapped a powerful geothermal reservoir along the shore of the Salton Sea and generated enough climate-friendly electricity to power about 200,000 homes. But the long-planned geothermal plant in Imperial County was never built — and now its developer appears to be pulling the plug.
Archive for date: August 16th, 2017
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Like many before him, California Governor Jerry Brown has vowed to “fix” the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, that vast and beleaguered wetland east of San Francisco Bay that is a source for much of Southern California’s water, an agricultural powerhouse, and a nursery for valuable fisheries. The root of the problem, of course, is the number and degree of demands on the Delta. There are too many stakeholders and too little water, so nobody ever gets what they want, and often they don’t get what they need.
Two proposed reservoirs for the Central Valley are among the largest projects seeking money from a bond issue approved by California voters in 2014. But there are ten other projects also trying to get money from the bond issue. In all, the dozen projects seek $5.8 billion. The bond issue totaled $2.7 billion. The 12 applications for funding under the Water Storage Investment Program include several new or expanded reservoirs:
In the midst of California’s historic drought, voters approved a $7.5 billion water bond intended to ease water shortages. The bond sets aside $2.7 billion for water storage projects. The California Water Commission has received a dozen applications asking for more than $5.7 billion. Two big reservoir projects are asking for the largest sum of money. The Sites Reservoir, which would be located about an hour north of Sacramento, wants $1.6 billion. It would draw water from the Sacramento River.
An innovative, off-stream water storage proposal northeast of Sacramento should be one of the top priorities for the state’s spending of Proposition 1 water-bond money. The Sites Reservoir project would, in wet years, divert “excess” water from the Sacramento River into what would be the seventh-largest reservoir in California. It would hold some 1.3 million to 1.8 million acre-feet of water, which could be used to meet several of the state’s water-system goals, along with the needs of agriculture and cities.
An hour’s drive northeast of San Francisco lies California’s most important water source and the West Coast’s largest estuary. Stretching across 1,100 square miles and five counties, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and its dozens of manmade islands support a $5 billion agricultural industry and supply water to over 25 million Californians. But the Golden State’s endless thirst and population growth has the delta on the brink of ecological disaster, experts predict. Decades of overpumping, agricultural runoff and tepid water temperatures have nearly extinguished a once-booming salmon population and polluted water quality.
The authority will seek funding from the Proposition 1 water bond passed by California voters in 2014, to offset part of the cost of building the proposed Temperance Flat Reservoir on the San Joaquin River above Millerton Lake. The California Water Commission, which will evaluate applications for bond funding, had set an Aug. 14 deadline for project proponents to file applications and supporting documents. Backers of the proposed Sites Reservoir in the Sacramento Valley also filed their application with the Water Commission.