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March 17, 2022

California Water Commission Increases Potential Funding for Seven Water Storage Projects

On Wednesday the California Water Commission increased potential funding for the seven water storage projects in the Water Storage Investment Program.

The Commission voted to increase the potential funding amount for the Sites Project by $25 million, correcting a shortage from 2018 due to limited funding. The Commission also voted to adjust the Maximum Conditional Eligibility Determinations of all existing projects to account for 1.5 percent inflation.

“I am excited to watch the work of the applicants as they move these projects forward, and to see them all reach their final award hearings so we can help make these projects a reality,” said Commission Vice-Chair Matthew Swanson. 

The increase in funding comes amid a federal judge allowing President Joe Biden’s administration to replace Trump-era biological opinions on endangered fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta with a temporary plan as federal agencies seek a permanent replacement.

In her testimony before the state water board this week on the impact of this year’s  temperature management strategy for the Sacramento River for protecting fish, Western Growers Senior Director of California Government Affairs Gail Delihant said that the “new normal” of persistent drought raises questions about whether or not salmon will be able to survive  as temperatures continue to warm and the snow pack continues to dwindle. Delihant noted that, in fact, constructing more water storage is severely needed.