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USDA invests in CA water supply

USDA is investing US$449m in improving water supply and management in drought-ridden California

USDA invests in CA water supply

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US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue yesterday (27 November) announced the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than US$449m to help build an innovative water management system that will increase the reliability of the California water supply and create more than 560 jobs in the Sacramento Valley.

Secretary Perdue was joined by US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Rickey James when announcing the investment. 

“Modern and reliable water infrastructure is the backbone to prosperity in the Sacramento Valley and across our nation,” said Secretary Perdue. “By working in a collaborative fashion with our state and local partners, we can balance the needs of everyone involved and ensure that the productivity of water in the Sacramento Valley is around for generations of farmers and ranchers to come.”

Secretary Zinke said: "In order to meet the demands of the future, we need to increase our storage capacity and bring our water infrastructure in to the 21st century. Large-scale water infrastructure projects, like the Maxwell Water Intertie and the Sites Reservoir projects which the department partners on, will directly benefit from the nearly half-billion dollars that Secretary Perdue is making available." 

“The Maxwell Water Intertie will increase the efficiency and reliability of water management in the western Sacramento Valley by adding to and improving existing water infrastructure to facilitate greater flexibility in water conveyance, which would increase the drought resistance of rural communities and help to support our region’s agricultural economy.” said Jim Watson, general manager, Sites Project Authority.

Made possible through USDA’s Community Facilities direct loan programme, the Maxwell Water Intertie (MWI) facilities would connect the existing Tehama Colusa Canal (TC Canal) and the existing Glenn Colusa Irrigation District’s (GCID) main canal. These facilities would increase water management flexibility and improve water supply resiliency for participants during dry years and directly increase the efficiency and reliability of water management in the western Sacramento Valley, the USDA said.

The MWI includes the construction of 3 ½ miles of 12-foot diameter pipeline along with a new pump station that will be used to pump water from the GCID system to the existing Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority’s (TCCA) Funks Reservoir. Exchanges of water from Funks Reservoir to the GCID system will occur through the new pipeline by gravity flow in the reverse direction.  The project also includes the construction of a new 1,200 acre-foot Terminal Regulating Reservoir (TRR) to be constructed adjacent to the GCID Main Canal that will help to regulate flows in the GCID main canal and support the operation of the Maxwell Water Intertie facilities. 

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