Cal Water Fix: Metropolitan Committee discusses the possible staged construction of the project

Maven’s Notebook –

At Monday’s meeting of Metropolitan’s Water Stewardship and Planning Committee, Steve Arakawa, Manager of Bay Delta Initiatives, updated the committee members on the Cal Water Fix project, given the state’s long-anticipated announcement of a phased approach to construction of the project. His presentation covered Metropolitan staff’s preliminary review of how project implementation might move forward, and what that would mean in terms of water supply and costs to Metropolitan Water District.

In the February 7 announcement, Mr. Arakawa said the state is really communicating that it would be pursuing Cal Water Fix as planned, which is the 9,000 cfs capacity at the intakes; the state also said that in addition, they want to be prepared to take actions that are responsive to the stated needs of the contracting water agencies, so they are looking at aligning how the funding commitments may fall into place along with project implementation.  They are preparing themselves to look at staging of the project, and if all funding commitments fall into line to support 9,000 cfs, they would move forward with that; if not, they would have a plan with how they would move forward with stage one, he said.

Stage one would be a 6,000 cfs facility that have one tunnel instead of two; the intermediate forebay in the north Delta; two intakes instead of three, and one pumping plant at the bottom at the south end of the Delta.  For the full 9,000 cfs implementation, it would be adding the second tunnel, a third intake, and the second pumping plant.  Construction of stage one would be funded by south of the Delta State Water Project contractors; other potential contractors could commit at some point as the staging occurs.  The Cal Water Fix project would still provide benefits to species in the Delta, to improve water quality, improve the reverse flow conditions, and help with the native fish, Mr. Arakawa said.

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