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Los Vaqueros Reservoir and Watershed News

Posted on: March 3, 2023

Los Vaqueros: A Quarter Century of Success

Los Vaqueros Reservoir has been an invaluable investment by Contra Costa Water District customers to improve water quality and to help our communities withstand several droughts; this year was no exception. December 24, 2022, marked the 25th anniversary of the original Los Vaqueros Reservoir—a monumental project for its time that has proven its value repeatedly through enhanced water quality, improved water supply, and drought protection.

In 1997, construction of California’s first dam in nearly two decades was complete and only a year later was nearly full of fresh Delta water. An off-stream reservoir built to improve water quality ensured Contra Costa Water District customers would receive high-quality water at all times of the year. In its first year, chloride levels were about three times lower than the goal and a vast improvement over water quality conditions before Los Vaqueros Reservoir was built.

Did you know? Los Vaqueros is an off-stream reservoir. That means it does not block a major waterway and surrounding habitat. Instead all the water stored in Los Vaqueros is pumped in from another source—in our case, the Delta.


Los Vaqueros Reservoir 25th Anniversary Tour

  • WHEN: Friday, April 28 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
  • WHERE: Bus Tour starting in Concord traveling to Brentwood to all LV facilities
  • WHAT: Visit Delta intake, Transfer Facility, Los Vaqueros Dam and Interpretive Center Los Vaqueros Marina
  • COST: The event is FREE; registration required.
    Please note: This tour is open to Contra Costa Water District customers only.

Los Vaqueros Reservoir 25th Anniversary Open House

  • WHEN: Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • WHERE: Los Vaqueros Interpretive Center, 19 Walnut Boulevard, Brentwood
  • WHAT: Activities for all ages! Wonderful giveaways! Learn how the reservoir operates, go on nature hikes, visit the top of the dam, see wildlife demonstrations, play in an augmented reality sandbox, and much more!
  • COST: The event is FREE; however, normal parking rates apply ($4-$6); registration recommended.
    This event is open to everyone!

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