Valley Water Board of Directors unanimously approves funding commitment for Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project to remain eligible for state funding
On Nov. 9, 2021, the Valley Water Board of Directors unanimously approved a funding commitment for the Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project to remain eligible for up to $496 million in conditional funding from the state’s Prop 1 Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP).
The WSIP funding represents a significant portion of the Pacheco project’s estimated $2.5 billion cost. Valley Water is exploring various dam alternatives that could reduce the cost to $2 billion.
To remain eligible for WSIP funding, the Valley Water Board of Directors was required to commit at least 75% of the non-state funded cost-share. Valley Water will cover this funding commitment through water utility revenues, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program Revenues, other Valley Water funds, and Pacheco Project partners.
As part of the WSIP requirement, Valley Water must also complete feasibility studies and make draft environmental documents for the Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project available for public review.
Valley Water is preparing to publish the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for public review on Nov. 17, 2021. The document will be accessible on the Valley Water website at valleywater.org/project-updates/a1-pacheco-reservoir-expansion-project and in person at various libraries in Santa Clara, San Benito and Merced Counties. Check our project page on Nov. 17 for a list of locations.
Valley Water will hold a public meeting on Jan. 13, 2022, from 5-7 p.m. to present the draft EIR and answer questions.
The Valley Water Board of Directors will consider approval of the Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project following completion of the Final Environmental Impact Report.
In February 2021, Valley Water held two virtual public scoping meetings and detailed five dam alternatives being evaluated for the Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project as part of the California Environmental Quality Act process. Valley Water is also evaluating an option of no expansion.
We are actively looking at ways to bring down the costs to ratepayers. Beyond the $496 million in state money, we are looking at federal grants and the Biden administration’s infrastructure package. Valley Water is also applying for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) funding, a low-cost federal loan that is typically cheaper than what Valley Water can borrow on its own, bringing down the loan costs needed to fund the project.