The California Department of Water Resources (DWR), Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) program has granted $15 million to support Central Valley water infrastructure projects.
Motivated to help local communities increase climate and water supply resilience, the agency selected multi-benefit projects. Stormwater management projects will reduce flooding risk, increase water storage, and recharge groundwater basins.
Karla Nemeth, DWR Director said that funding will help diversify and sustain water supplies.
In particular, the Pixley Irrigation District will construct a new 5.5-mile canal to convey surface water to about 5,500 acres of land now solely reliant on groundwater. The project is also designed to “increase flood protection for downstream infrastructure, crops and more than 1,000 Alpaugh residents.”
The Kings Basin Water Authority and City of Bakersfield also received funding to increase water storage, improve flood control, and pump water below ground into basins in Parlier. Another project will deliver surface water to landowners in the cities of Arvin, Edison and surrounding communities that now rely on groundwater to meet agricultural and drinking water demands. A key project objective is to reduce groundwater pumping.
A full list of awarded projects is available here.
The IRWM program is financed by voter-approved California Proposition 1 (2014). State agency awards have been “matched by local investments to help implement over 1,300 projects that foster climate resilience by mitigating drought impacts, improving water supply reliability, reducing flood and fire risk, increasing water storage and improving water quality.”