The Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) began construction recently on the first phase of a $20 million state-of-the-art fish screen project that will protect sensitive fish species in the Delta and increase operational flexibility and water supply for the Central Valley Project of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation).
Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the water infrastructure project is the first of several “shovel-ready” projects in California to begin construction. It will screen the district’s last unscreened intake and prevent Delta fish from entering the Contra Costa Canal through the Rock Slough intake, located near the East Contra Costa County Town of Knightsen.
CCWD diverts about 130,000 acre-feet per year, and when this project is completed, all of CCWD’s diversions will be through screened intakes. The project will also provide the Central Valley Project with enough pumping flexibility to increase its available water supply by 20,000 to 30,000 acre-feet each year.
CCWD was selected by Reclamation earlier this month to initiate construction of the project. Upon selection, the district expedited environmental permitting, procured a contractor and moved forward on approximately $6.7 million of work that includes designing and building levees, cofferdams, and installing a temporary bypass pumping operation. The district’s work will be completed by the end of this year. Reclamation will then move forward on the rest of the project, which is currently on schedule to be completed in early 2011.
The project was authorized by Congress as part of the 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act. Funding appropriation was made in April of 2009. Federal appropriation of the project’s funding is based on urgency and “shovel readiness.”
For more information, call Kurt Ladensack at 925-688-8395.