Study Maps Financial Risks for Calif.’s Water Resilience Planning

A new study warns that the benefits of California’s Water Resilience Portfolio Initiative might not be evenly distributed without proper structure to the agreements.

Partnerships between water utilities, irrigation districts and other stakeholders in California will play a critical role in funding new infrastructure under the Water Resilience Portfolio Initiative announced in 2020 by the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom.

State Allocates Another $29.8 Million to Friant-Kern Repairs

On Thursday, the State Department of Water Resources, DWR, announced it second round of allocation for the ongoing repairs of the Friant-Kern Canal, this time allocating $29.8 million.

In November of last year, DWR announced an initial allocation of $39.2 million for the Friant-Kern Canal repairs. The funds being allocated by DWR were included in the state budget.

Federal, Local Officials Kick Off Millions in Repairs to Friant-Kern Canal

Local and Federal water officials and lawmakers celebrated the groundbreaking of a massive project on the Friant-Kern Canal on Tuesday, marking the start of the canal’s restoration.

Coming in at $187 million, the first portion of the massive effort will restore capacity within the canal in a 10-mile portion that has been affected by subsidence: the sinking of the canal’s bottom from groundwater removal.

With 33 miles of the Friant-Kern Canal in total that have sunk due to subsidence, Tuesday’s groundbreaking kicks off the first phase of the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction restoration project.

Department of Water Resources Investing Heavy in Water Facility Rehabilitation

Today, the California Department of Water Resources initiated a $100 million funding program to restore capacity to portions of the California Aqueduct, San Luis Canal, Delta-Mendota Canal, and Friant-Kern Canal lost to land subsidence occurring during the last several decades.

“Fixing these canals is an important foundational piece to ensure a reliable and climate resilient water supply for California,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “It enables us to move water during very wet conditions, which will be essential to adapting to more extreme weather. Restoring capacity in our existing infrastructure provides a critical link in diversifying water supplies by supporting groundwater replenishment throughout the Central Valley and water recycling projects in Southern California. It’s a prudent investment in our water future.”

Calif. Senate Advances Bill to Spend $785mil to Repair Valley Canals

A bill aimed at improving the Valley’s two largest canal systems from continued subsidence-driven damage advanced through one house of the California State Legislature on Friday.

Senate Bill 559, a top priority for legislators on both side of the aisle in the San Joaquin Valley and led by Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D–Sanger), seeks to dedicate $785 million in spending for improvements to four sets of waterways, spearheaded by two canals servicing the Central Valley Project: the Delta-Mendota Canal and the Friant-Kern Canal.

Water Authority and GSA To Settle On Sagging Friant-Kern Canal Resolution

The Friant Water Authority cleaned up some of the most important work in the last month of the year hashing out a legal settlement with farmers in southern Tulare County.

Represented by the Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency farmers agreed to contribute at least $125 million to repair the significant subsidence-caused sag in the gravity-fed canal that has cut water deliveries by 60%.

Around Kings County: Big Water News for Central Valley

Water bills would help fix subsidence damage: A package of water bills passed Congress this week that could offer hundreds of millions to improve San Joaquin Valley water deliveries. Folded into the same bill that will be offering COVID relief was the government’s annual spending bill that included  funding approval for key local canals and dams. Significantly it includes $206 million to rebuild 33 miles of the Friant Kern Canal and monies for the repair of the westside’s California Aqueduct and Delta Mendota Canal — all facing reduced capacity due to subsidence- the sinking of land caused by vigorous water pumping nearby over the years.

Congress Appropriations Bill Includes $206 Million for Friant-Kern Canal

Congress presented an early Christmas present that will go a long ways to providing much needed repairs for the Friant-Kern Canal.

Congress signed off on funding for the repair work to be done locally on the 33-mile stretch of the canal. The stretch is from Avenue 208 between Strathmore and Lindsay to north Kern County.

Proposed Agreement Could Boost Funds to Fix Friant-Kern Canal

In what was hailed as a “landmark agreement,” farmers in an area of southern Tulare County blamed for sinking the Friant-Kern Canal from excessive groundwater pumping will chip in a hefty amount to help pay for a fix.

How hefty could be decided by their payment choice.

A longer term payment option would be $200 million.

Growers See Initial Allocation of 10% for 2021 Water Year

While deciding the final allocation for growers who gather their water from the Friant-Kern Canal is months away, things early on are not looking good. The California Department of Water Resources announced on Dec. 1 an initial state water project allocation of 10% of requested supply for the 2021 water year. Initial allocations are based on conservative assumptions regarding hydrology and factors such as reservoir storage.