Update on State Water Projects

Temperance Flat Dam Project

Members of the LWVC Water Committee are working hard to keep abreast of developments with the Proposition 1  Water Storage Investment Program funding approved by voters in 2014. The California Water Commission is tasked with evaluating projects and awarding funding. The process is highly competitive as $5.8 billion in funding for eleven projects has been requested, while $2.7 billion is available. 
The public benefit ratio (PBR) of each project will be used to rank the projects. The PBR is structured in this way. At least 50 percent of each proposal’s funding must be devoted to ecosystem benefits, while up to 50 percent  may be devoted to four other public benefits - water quality improvement, flood control, emergency response, and recreation. 
LWVC may choose to comment at times when public comments are accepted. This month the Commission will release initial PBRs.  At a three-day meeting March 2018, final PBR’s will be determined. In May 2018 the Commission will announce final project scores, and in June 2018 it will make a determination on ranking and conditional project funding. The public will have the opportunity to comment at the March, May, and June meetings. 
There are thousands of pages of documents submitted for the projects. As a grassroots organization made up mostly of volunteers from around the State, the LWVC, and the LWVC Water Committee in particular, must “pick its shots carefully” in order to offer comments that are credible and effective. The March 2018 meeting may be the best opportunity to submit comments.
Two projects, the Temperance Flat Reservoir Project and the Tulare Lake Storage and Floodwater Protection Project, are located in the Central San Joaquin Valley and are of particular interest to members of our league. 
More information about the Water Storage  program can be found at the California Water Commission website.

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