Commission Completes Final Round of Scoring for Water Storage Projects

  • by California Water Commission
  • Jun 28, 2018
  • Water News

The California Water Commission has approved final application scores over the past two days for eight proposed water storage projects, clearing the way to award nearly $2.7 billion in Proposition 1 funds to help expand the state’s water storage capacity.

The Commission also made a series of determinations required for each project to move forward in the process. A summary is available here.

Today’s actions set the stage for the Commission to conditionally award the Proposition 1 funds at its July 24-26 meeting, when it also will consider requests from four applicants for early funding to help complete feasibility studies and environmental reviews.

“We are now on the doorstep of awarding funding from Proposition 1 to water storage projects across California,” Commission Chair Armando Quintero said. “We eagerly look forward to next month when we can make preliminary awards to these diverse projects that collectively will add 4.3 million acre-feet of water storage capacity to California.”

The component scores adopted today are combined to create a cumulative Total Return on Public Investment Score for each project, as required by Proposition 1 and Water Storage Investment Program regulations.

Commission staff will use the cumulative scores to rank the projects in tiers, which will guide the preliminary funding decisions in July. Applicants will then need to complete remaining requirements in Proposition 1, including feasibility studies and environmental reviews, before the Commission can make a final funding award for each project.

The projects were scored by a team of scientists, engineers, hydrologists and other subject matter experts from the California Water Commission, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board. The team’s recommendations were released on May 25 and were the subject of public meetings with applicants June 20-21.

Additional detail on the scoring process is available in an FAQ here.

Below is a summary of the final scores adopted by the Commission for each project, along with each applicant’s funding request and maximum funding eligibility as determined in May. Additional details are available here.

Commission Determinations for Final Scores

Project Commission-Approved

Expected Return for Public Investment Score

(Maximum 100)

Commission- Approved Eligible Amount,

$ Million

May 2018

Applicant Request, $ Million

May 2018

Chino Basin Conjunctive Use Program 70 $206.90 $206.90
Kern Fan Groundwater Storage Project 54 $85.66 $85.70
Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project 76 $459.00 $459.00
Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project 82 $484.55 $484.55
Sites Project 61 $1,008.28 $916.62
South County Ag Program 77 $280.53 $280.50
Temperance Flat Reservoir Project 73 $171.33 $171.33
Willow Springs Water Bank 53 $123.29 $123.29

Proposition 1, approved by 67 percent of California voters in 2014, created a competitive process for funding projects based on their public benefit. The projects are being evaluated and ranked on criteria established in the Water Storage Investment Program regulations.

Proposition 1 dedicated $2.7 billion for the Water Storage Investment Program. As noted at the beginning of the application process, 2% of that amount is set aside for bond financing and 2.5% is set aside for state administrative costs over the life of the program, so the total funding available is $2.582 billion.

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