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reservoir

Huge reservoir near Bay Area could be expanded to store more water

in Around California/Government

Motorists zooming along Highway 152 through Pacheco Pass between Gilroy and Los Banos notice an unusual site amid the parched, oak-studded hills: A vast inland sea.

The shimmering body of water, San Luis Reservoir, is 7 miles long and a key part of California’s modern water supply created when President John F. Kennedy pushed a dynamite plunger there in 1962 to kick off its construction. Today water from the massive lake irrigates farmland across the Central Valley and also provides drinking water for Silicon Valley, including San Jose.

Last Friday, a major new construction project started at San Luis — a $1.1 billion plan by the federal government to strengthen the huge earthen dam and raise it 10 feet to reduce the risk of it collapsing in a major earthquake.

But more than earthquake safety work is afoot.

Water officials in increasingly drought-plagued California have been hoping another project can be attached to the seismic upgrade — an effort to build the 382-foot-high dam even higher to expand the size of the reservoir.

Continue Reading on Red Bluff Daily News

Massive Northern California reservoir project scaled back to reduce costs

in Around California

An ambitious plan to build the largest new reservoir in California in 40 years to supply water to homes and businesses from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, along with Central Valley farmers, is being scaled back considerably amid questions about its $5 billion price tag and how much water it can deliver.

Sites Reservoir is proposed for construction in remote ranch lands in Colusa County, about 70 miles north of Sacramento. The reservoir, originally designed to be four times as big as Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park and nearly as big as San Luis Reservoir between Gilroy and Los Banos, received more money than any other project two years ago from a water bond passed by state voters during California’s historic drought.

But supporters still haven’t found enough to pay all the construction costs.

Continue Reading on Mercury News

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