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.
August 23, 2019
Environmental Organization Support for Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project
A coalition of environmental organizations and the Grassland Water District submitted a joint letter to the California Natural Resources Agency last week to recommend inclusion of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project in the Governor’s Water Resilience Portfolio currently in development. The letter is addressed to Nancy Vogel, Director of the Governor’s Water Portfolio Program, who was selected by the Governor following the April 29, 2019 issuance of Executive Order N-10-19 that calls for the development of a portfolio. The state has invited all stakeholders and members of the public to help shape California water future and have been encouraged to submit recommendations by mid-September. More information on the Water Resilience Portfolio Initiative is available on the state’s website at waterresilience.ca.gov. The state currently anticipates that the Water Resilience Portfolio will be finalized by the end of 2019.
- NGO Letter of Support for Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project inclusion in Water Resilience Portfolio (PDF)
- See more Letters of Support for the Project
May 6, 2019
California Water Commission WSIP Informational Meeting on the Administration of Public Benefits
Staff from the state agencies responsible for administering the public benefits — the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Water Resources — will discuss each public benefit type and current thoughts on metrics, monitoring, and management. This information exchange also provides an opportunity for us to give feedback to the agencies and will help as we work together towards developing contracts for the Phase 2 LVE Project. The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. on May 30, 2019.
California Water Commission Links
- Proposition 1 Water Storage Investment Program
- WSIP Project Review Portal
- Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project
January 22, 2019
California Water Commission Meeting to Discuss the Administration of Public Benefits
As part of the next steps in executing final funding agreements, the California Water Commission has initiated a series of meetings with project proponents and representatives to begin developing contracts for the administration of public benefits. For the Phase 2 LVE Project, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will administer the contract for ecosystem benefits and the California Department of Water Resources will administer the contract for the emergency response and recreation benefits. The meeting scheduled for 9:30-11:30 a.m. on February 12, 2019 will focus on the Phase 2 LVE Project.
July 24, 2018
California Water Commission's Award of the Maximum Conditional Eligibility Amount and Early Funding Request
- Joint News Release from CCWD and partner agencies (PDF)
- Commission Approves Investing $2.7 Billion in Eight Water Storage Projects - California Water Commission News Release (PDF)
Statement from Contra Costa Water District:
Contra Costa Water District is very pleased that the California Water Commission has awarded the Maximum Conditional Eligibility Amount and Early Funding Request for the Prop. 1 application to expand Los Vaqueros Reservoir. We appreciate the ongoing hard work and dedication by the Commission and the agency staff. We look forward to continuing to work with the Commission and local agency partners through the next steps of the funding process. We remain confident that an expanded reservoir will be a positive step forward toward greater water reliability for the entire Bay Area region and supply wildlife refuges in the Central Valley.
Jerry Brown, General Manager
Contra Costa Water District
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.