Water agencies, feds agree to new drought resilience program

Part of the agreement deals with the Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir Project with the Friant Water Authority.

Major Central Valley water agencies have signed an agreement with the federal government to establish a new drought resiliency framework. 

The partnership is funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. 


The big picture: The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Friant Water Authority, the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority all signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to establish a South of Delta Drought Resiliency Framework. 

  • The MOU establishes an approach to implement drought resiliency projects and framework, which includes a drought plan that allows the agencies to conserve and store or exchange a portion of their water deliveries for use in future years with lower supplies. 
  • It also allocates costs for Large Extraordinary Maintenance Projects, including the Delta-Mendota Canal Subsidence Correction Project, among other components. 
  • The Friant Water Authority has also agreed to a resolution on the Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir Project to ensure that it supports all objectives outlined in the Drought Plan. 

What they’re saying: Friant Water Authority CEO Jason Phillips said it is critical for water agencies and water managers to work together to find creative ways to meet their common goals as once reliable water supplies continue to take a hit. 

  • “The agreement between our neighbors in the Valley, the San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority, and the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority, as well as our partners at the Bureau of Reclamation, will help bring some predictability to water allocations and will help to provide certainty for the farms and communities we represent,” Phillips said. “These efforts and outcomes are not easily achieved, but are a welcomed development and hopefully a sign of more partnering in the future.” 
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