Costa Announces $6.3 Million in Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency Grants

Fresno, Calif. — Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) today announced $6.3 million in Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency grants. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, released the federal funding to help communities in California modernize their water infrastructure and more efficiently use scarce water resources.

“San Joaquin Valley growers are national leaders in water conservation because they know that water means more nutritious food for the world and good jobs for Californians,” said Costa. “In the midst of this horrific drought, this critical funding will provide some assistance to water districts and growers to use each precious drop of water even more efficiently. This is not enough. That’s why I am working every day on comprehensive drought relief. legislation that will bring more water to our Valley.”

The following is a summary of selected projects that affect San Joaquin Valley water districts and growers:


Arvin-Edison Water Storage District – Water Conservation and Efficiency Project


Reclamation Funding: $1,000,000                                                        Total Project Cost: $2,000,000


Arvin-Edison Water Storage District’s Water Conservation and Efficiency Project will include the Pilot In-lieu Project, which includes construction of a pipeline network to and from the district’s South Canal to (1) provide surface water supply during supplemental/ample water years to landowners who normally pump groundwater to meet crop demand, and (2) plumb landowner wells to the district for increased extraction capability during deficit water supply years. As part of the district’s project, steps will also be taken to modernize and make capacity improvements to the district’s Sycamore Check Structure and improve water management for the south half of the district as well as provide long-term water supply benefits to the district into the future. The proposed project is estimated to achieve water savings of 14,203 acre-feet.

Buena Vista Water Storage District – Northern Area Pipeline Project


Reclamation Funding: $1,000,000                                                        Total Project Cost: $10,262,843


The proposed project is designed to improve over-all District water use efficiency by (1) converting 9,845 acres of farmland currently served by an unlined canal to a pipeline to eliminate canal losses, and (2) by developing a year-round irrigation system, which would eliminate much groundwater pumping. The proposed project is estimated to achieve water savings of 4,737 acre-feet annually.

Cawelo Water District – Calloway Canal Lining Project: Reach C2


Reclamation Funding: $1,000,000                                                        Total Project Cost: $2,006,179


The project proposes to concrete line 2,900 linear feet of the currently unlined Calloway Canal, a portion designed Reach C2. Lining Reach C2 will decrease seepage losses on the order of 11 acre-feet per day - mile. Reach C2 lies outside the service area of both Cawelo and North Kern, overlying a portion of regional groundwater basin that is lesser quality due to past industrial practices in the area. As such, reducing seepage losses in this reach will reduce the amount of water that mixes with the lesser quality groundwater, considered irrecoverable losses since the water cannot be pumped for later use without a substantial treatment process. Reducing losses will also improve water conveyance for these districts, making sure water is delivered to its intended destination, and increase the capability of the districts to deliver more State-supplied surface water. The proposed project is estimated to achieve water savings of 581 acre-feet annually.


Central California Irrigation District - CCID Oil Station System Improvements


Reclamation Funding: $418,500                                                           Total Project Cost: $850,000


The Oil Station system is a combined pipeline and unlined ditch system with inadequate capacity to meet its delivery needs and inhibits the conversion to high-efficiency irrigation systems within its service area. The proposed project will install a combination PVC pipe and concrete-lined canal and a mid-system reservoir, replacing the westerly half of the Oil Station system with new facilities. The proposed project is estimated to achieve water savings of 1,055 acre-feet annually.

Firebaugh Canal Water District - Firebaugh CWD 2nd Lift Lining Project Phase 4; Washoe Avenue to Douglas Avenue


Reclamation Funding: $1,000,000                                                        Total Project Cost: $2,189,500

The proposed project will replace about 2.6 miles of an existing earthen channel with a concrete-lined canal and upgrade the flow-control capabilities and metering of a primary pump station. The existing channel is a primary lift canal for Firebaugh Canal Water District with a capacity of 120 cubic feet per second for this reach of the canal. Because the canal is unlined, it loses about 336 acre-feet per year through seepage. This lost water is not only unavailable for irrigation uses but also contributes to the discharge of saline subsurface drain water to the San Joaquin River system. The proposed project is estimated to achieve water savings of 336 acre-feet annually.


North Kern Water Storage District - Calloway Canal Lining Project: Reach D


Reclamation Funding: $609,500                                                           Total Project Cost: $1,219,000


The proposed project involves concrete lining of 1,490 linear feet of the currently unlined Calloway Canal. Reach D lies outside the service areas of both North Kern and Cawelo and overlies a portion of the regional groundwater basin that is of diminished quality due to past land uses, particularly industrial and petrochemical seepage on the northern end of the city of Bakersfield. Minimizing seepage from the Calloway Canal will reduce the irrecoverable losses that result when high-quality surface water seeps to poor-quality groundwater and the degraded seepage cannot be recovered for later use without substantial treatment. Reducing losses will also enhance the districts’ capability to deliver increased volumes of water from the State Water Project to irrigators. The proposed project is estimated to achieve water savings of 296 acre-feet annually.


 More information on the funding can be found on the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s website, here: http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47145

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