Coachella Canal lining agreement signed

The Department of Water Resources and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California have signed an agreement providing $74 million for lining the Coachella Canal with concrete, to reduce seepage losses.

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 9, 2001 — The Department of Water Resources and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California have signed an agreement providing $74 million in state funding to MWD for lining the remained unlined portion of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Coachella Canal with concrete, to reduce seepage losses.

The funding was authorized by 1998 State legislation intended to help implement measures in California's Colorado River Water Use Plan.

The plan, available at http://www.crb.ca.gov, describes actions California will take to reduce its use of Colorado River water from historical levels of more than 5 million acre-feet annually to California's basic interstate allocation of 4.4 MAF acre-feet annually.

California has historically been able to use part of the water allocated to Nevada and Arizona, but those states are now taking their full allocations.

In the absence of hydrologic conditions making surplus water available, MWD's Colorado River water supplies would be reduced by about half at the 4.4 MAF allocation level.

Recently adopted river operations criteria limit MWD's risk of reduced supplies until 2006, by which time several projects to help MWD offset the reduction in its Colorado River supplies are expected to be completed.

Lining the remainder of the Coachella Canal is estimated to save about 26,000 acre-feet per year of water now lost to seepage. Part of the conserved water will additionally facilitate implementing the San Luis Rey Indian Water Rights Settlement Act, as provided for in that 1988 federal legislation.

The Coachella Canal conveys Colorado River water from Imperial Valley into the southern end of Coachella Valley, terminating near Indio.

The Department of Water Resources operates and maintains the State Water Project, provides dam safety and flood control and inspection services, assists local water districts in water management and water conservation planning, and plans for future statewide water needs.

Visit DWR 's Website at http://wwwdwr.water.ca.gov .

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