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USDA Invests $449M in California Water Supply Innovations

Wed January 16, 2019 - West Edition #2
United States Department of Agriculture


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $449 million to help build an innovative water management system in California.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $449 million to help build an innovative water management system in California.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $449 million 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. Perdue was joined by former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Rickey "R.D." James. The announcement follows on President Donald J. Trump's memo to promote a reliable supply and delivery of water out west.

"Modern and reliable water infrastructure is the backbone to prosperity in the Sacramento Valley and across our nation. Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being an ally to innovative leaders taking action to rebuild rural infrastructure in California and beyond, which is why we are investing in projects like the Maxwell Water Intertie," said 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."

"Every westerner knows the saying ‘whiskey's for drinking and water's for fighting,' but President Trump, Secretary Perdue and I are trying to make that obsolete. We all share a commitment to storing and delivering water for farmers, families and commercial users in California," said Zinke. "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 Army is committed to working with our federal, state and local partners to carefully manage the water resources of the Sacramento Valley," said James. "This project represents the President's ongoing commitment to rural America to ensure the effective functioning of the nation's agricultural economy."

"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 program, 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 MWI includes the construction of 3.5 mi. of 12-ft. 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-ft. 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.

For more information, visit rd.usda.gov.