Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion OVerview
Expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir improves Bay Area water supply reliability and water quality while protecting Delta fisheries and providing additional Delta ecosystem benefits.
The proposed project will include a regional intertie (the Transfer-Bethany Pipeline), improved pump stations and pipelines and could increase the reservoir's capacity up to 275,000 acre-feet.
The proposed project builds upon the successful first phase of expansion from 100,000 to 160,000 acre-feet funded by the Contra Costa Water District and completed in 2012.
Los Vaqueros is one of the projects being evaluated in the context of a broader Bay Area effort to work collaboratively as a region to improve water supply reliability.
Los Vaqueros Expansion Fact Sheet
Statement on the California Water Commission's Final Determination of Public Benefit Ratios and Maximum Eligible Amount of Funding
Contra Costa Water District (District) is encouraged to see the final Public Benefit Ratio and Maximum Eligible Amount of funding for the Prop. 1 application to expand Los Vaqueros Reservoir. The revised ratio and funding eligibility amount demonstrates that this project provides significant public benefits. We appreciate the hard work and thoughtful analysis provided by California Water Commission (CWC) staff and the opportunity to clarify information to address technical questions related to our application and appeal. The District is aware that there are still many steps ahead to receive funding. Keeping this process on schedule will be crucial to ensure Prop. 1 funding is allocated as approved by voters. We look forward to working with the CWC on next steps evaluating relative environmental values, resiliency to climate change and implementation risk. The District is pleased that the benefits of an expanded reservoir are one step closer to being seen regionally and statewide.
Jerry Brown, General Manager
Contra Costa Water District
California Water Commission's Final Determination of Public Benefit Ratios and Maximum Eligible Amount of Funding
- Press Release: Commission Moves Step Closer to Funding Prop 1 Water Storage Projects
- Summary of Commission Determinations for Public Benefit Ratios
There is one dam-raising project that has drawn enthusiastic backing from environmental groups: expansion of the Los Vaqueros reservoir near Livermore. It promises to be a source of water for San Joaquin Valley wildlife refuges that often go dry in drought years.
...Raising Los Vaqueros’ earthen dam by 55 feet has has drawn widespread support from both environmentalists and water agencies, including the Santa Clara Valley Water District and East Bay Municipal Utility District. It would provide storage for 275,000 acre feet of water, enough to meet the needs of an additional 575,000 people.
Expanding Los Vaqueros Reservoir is an innovative project that embodies what the voters approved when they passed Proposition 1, including significant, well-defined public benefits for the environment.
Working to expand water supplies for California’s next drought, a coalition of 12 Bay Area water agencies took a significant step Monday toward an $800 million expansion of one of the largest reservoirs in the Bay Area — Los Vaqueros Reservoir in the rolling hills near the Alameda-Contra Costa county line.
Additional flexibility for the water-supply system, water to benefit urban customers in the Bay Area, water for wetlands as well as for farmers and other water users south of the delta: Those are the reasons a dozen partners have joined in support of a proposed expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir.
Millions of Bay Area residents could get extra drought insurance against water shortages and quality problems from a proposed $800 million expansion of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir that may have up to 10 water suppliers as partners.
...This plan is amazingly simple. The height of the earthen dam would be raised by 51 feet to 269 feet. That would enable Los Vaqueros Reservoir to expand its capacity from 160,000 acre-feet of water to hold 275,000 acre-feet enough to serve 1.4 million residents on an annual basis.