Regional Water Storage Project Receives Significant Federal Funding

Contra Costa County (October 18, 2022) – The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced it will allocate $82 million for the expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir, a project that will improve regional water reliability and provide environmental benefits across the Bay Area and Central Valley. The Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) is participating in this project through its membership with the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (SLDMWA).

“As we face an uncertain future, the District is committed to taking the necessary steps to secure water reliability for our growers,” said acting BBID General Manager Ed Pattison. “Participating in 21st-Century projects like the expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir – which is the result of collaboration, innovation and forward thinking – is a significant step toward building long-term drought resilience.”

A total of $210 million of federal water storage funding was allocated to seven projects in the western U.S., under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law approved by Congress in late 2021. The Los Vaqueros Reservoir Project is receiving the largest portion.

“BBID is grateful for the productive partnership between the Bureau of Reclamation and the Los Vaqueros Joint Powers Authority,” Pattison continued. “This funding will help the project move forward and demonstrates that our federal partners recognize the importance of supporting improved water management for California’s people, its food supply and its environment.”

The project was previously approved for $477 million from California Prop 1 funds and $136 million for construction in federal funding.

When complete, the capacity of Los Vaqueros will be increased from 160,000 acre-feet to 275,000 acre-feet. New and upgraded conveyance facilities will be added to provide comprehensive benefits to water supply reliability and flexibility, the environment, and recreation. Construction is expected to begin next year and continue through 2030.

LVE Project – Monthly Update

Below is the monthly newsletter for the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project.

Partner News Letter LVE - March 4 2022

Background: In October 2021, the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project (Project) passed a significant milestone in officially filing agreements needed to form a Joint Powers Authority. This important milestone puts a group of Local Agency Partners one step closer to Project implementation.

The Byron-Bethany Irrigation District is a member agency of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, a Local Agency Project Partner.

Los Vaqueros Reservoir is an off-stream reservoir that was originally built by Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) in 1998. The original reservoir capacity was 100,000 acre-feet and in 2012, CCWD completed the first phase of expansion to hold 160,000 acre-feet.

Expanding Los Vaqueros to a new capacity of 275,000 acre-feet and adding new conveyance facilities will provide environmental, water supply reliability, operational flexibility, water quality and recreational benefits. Those benefits earned the expansion $470 million of the $2.7 billion in water storage investments approved by voters when Proposition 1 passed. The remainder of the project costs will be covered by federal and local partners.

USBR: Trump Administration Advances Plan to Increase Water Reliability in Bay Area and Central Valley

The following news release was originally posted by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) is a partner in the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Final Feasibility Report, which documents potential costs and benefits of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project. As part of a continuing effort to increase storage capability throughout California, Reclamation and the Contra Costa Water District worked together on Phase 2 of the project to increase the capacity from 160,000 acre-feet up to 275,000 acre-feet and adding new conveyance facilities.

In October 2018, President Trump issued the Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West. Reclamation, together with its partners, is acting on that call and taking action to improve water supply reliability throughout the state.

“We are pleased to partner with CCWD on this smart expansion project that would create additional storage capacity in an existing footprint,” said Commissioner Brenda Burman. “This is a win-win for the Bay Area and the Central Valley Project.”

This expansion could provide increased water supply reliability and operational flexibility to the Central Valley Project. In addition, the expansion would deliver water supplies to various Bay Area municipal and industrial water providers, as well as federally-recognized wildlife refuge areas and irrigation districts in the San Joaquin Valley.

“This is a significant milestone for the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project and project partners,” said CCWD Board President Lisa Borba. “We are grateful for our partnership with Reclamation as we move forward to make this important investment in water storage a reality.”

“As a potential beneficiary of the expanded storage and improved conveyance facilities, the Del Puerto Water District commends both Reclamation and CCWD’s efforts to bring LVRE to this important milestone, said Del Puerto Water District General Manager Anthea Hansen. Water infrastructure, especially expanded storage capacity and improved connectivity between different regions of our state, are foremost on the minds of water managers in California. I am truly impressed with the excellent work of the CCWD team and look forward to hopefully being a part of this much-needed project, not only for my region but for the health and prosperity of our wonderful state.”

The LVE is a joint investigation between Reclamation and CCWD authorized by Congress in 2003. The objectives of the expansion are to develop water supplies for environmental water management, increase water supply reliability for water providers within the San Francisco Bay Area, and improve the quality of water deliveries to municipal and industrial customers. The Final Feasibility Report was transmitted to Congress on August 11.

The Final Feasibility Report is available on Reclamation’s website at