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.

LVE Fact Sheet (PDF)


Latest News

May 13, 2020

Board certifies the Final Supplement to the Final Environmental Document for Phase 2 Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project

On May 13, 2020, Contra Costa Water District’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution certifying the Final Supplement to the Final EIS/EIR and approved the Phase 2 Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project. This is a significant milestone for this project. The project is now proceeding with permitting and design. View Environmental Documents to see the Board Resolution and supporting environmental documents.

February 28, 2020

Final Environmental Document published for Phase 2 Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project

The Final Supplement to the Final EIS/EIR is now available to the public, and noticed in the Federal Register on February 28, 2020.

For questions about the Final Environmental Document, contact Marguerite Patil at mpatil@ccwater.com, or Dan Cordova at dcordova@usbr.gov.

December 20, 2019

Federal WIIN Act funding approved for Phase 2 Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project

President Trump signed two spending bills to fund the federal government through fiscal year 2020 (FY20). $2.155 million for the Phase 2 Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project was included in the spending bills. Following completion of the Final Federal Feasibility Report, this funding will support the Bureau of Reclamation’s effort to initiate consultations with federal permitting agencies, develop inter-agency agreements, and advance the engineering design and/or geotechnical investigation of key facilities.

September 24, 2019

Request for Proposals for Special Counsel Services for Phase 2 Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project

Contra Costa Water District and the Project Partners are issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) in order to select a qualified firm/s to provide legal services primarily to assist the Project Partners in the creation of the proposed Joint Powers Authority (JPA). The deadline for proposals has been extended to October 25, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

September 23, 2019

Geotechnical field investigation for the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project starts this week

For information on progress and recreational trail closures, visit ccwater.com/losvaqueros.

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.

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

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

Statement from Contra Costa Water District:

GM Jerry Brown

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

What they are saying about Los Vaqueros Expansion

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.

San Francisco Chronicle
April 14, 2018

...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.

Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards
January 23, 2018

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.

George Miller, Member of Congress, Retired
August 9, 2017

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.

San Jose Mercury News
July 3, 2017

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.

Ag Alert
June 28, 2017

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.

East Bay Times
November 5, 2016

...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.

San Jose Mercury News Editorial
April 28, 2016