It was an historic day in terms of fixing California’s water infrastructure. The application was signed and submitted to the California Water Commission on Monday for funding, getting one step closer to building the Temperance Flat Dam behind the Friant Dam and Millerton Lake northeast of Fresno. Mario Santoyo is Executive Director of the San Joaquin Water Infrastructure Authority, and they’ve worked mighty hard over the last 10 years to get to this step.
“That came together with support from five counties, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, and Kings, in putting together an application to the State of California Water Commission under what they call their Water Storage Investment Program,” Santoyo said.
Monday was the official deadline for those requesting funding for construction of projects. The money comes from the 2012 water bond, which allocated $7.12 billion to improve California’s water infrastructure.
Santoyo said that the application they submitted is requesting $1.3 billion.
“That funding would initiate the construction of the Temperance Flat Dam, creating the Temperance Flat Reservoir,” Santoyo explained.
“This would enhance the storage by 1.26 million acre-feet, thereby tripling capacity of the current Millerton Lake Reservoir, saving all this water that’s currently going to the ocean due to Millerton’s lake under supply.
“Temperance Flat Reservoir water will provide surface water deliveries as well as water to recharge groundwater storage. “This will create a much more reliable water supply to the farmers and the cities here in the San Joaquin Valley,” Santoyo said.
The applicants for this and other proposed projects should know sometime in early 2018 if their projects were funded.