(Press Release from WDCWA) – The final funding piece for a major regional surface water project fell into place yesterday, just months before surface water is to begin flowing to water users in Woodland and Davis. The Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency and Reclamation District 2035 announced today the award of $8.1 million in Proposition 1 funds for a new surface water intake facility on the Sacramento River. The funding – which comes from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 Restoration Grant Programs – is in addition to $12 million previously committed by the state and $20.1 million committed by the US Bureau of Reclamation. The latest award brings the total state and federal investment in the joint intake to $40.2 million.
“We’ve exemplified the true intent of regional collaboration, which is to identify common concerns – such as environmental impacts – and pursue solutions that provide multiple benefits,” said Robert Thomas, Reclamation District 2035 President. “In this case, we’re building a legacy project that meets urban, agricultural and environmental objectives and makes improvements that help all. And because of this, we were able to secure state and federal funding to make the project happen.”
“For years, we’ve worked closely with key federal and state entities, including our elected representatives in Congress and the California Legislature, to secure the necessary 50-50 cost-share match funds needed to finish the joint intake’s construction,” added City of Davis Mayor Dan Wolk, who also serves as chair of the WDCWA Board. “The fact we’ve been successful is no small matter during these tough economic times, and underscores the Brown Administration’s commitment to protecting the Sacramento River and San Joaquin Delta environments.”
The intake, which will be jointly owned by the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency (WDCWA) and Reclamation District 2035 (RD 2035), is a cornerstone of the Agency’s regional surface water project to serve Woodland and Davis, but will also provide irrigation water to sustain agricultural operations in the area. The facility is replacing the largest unscreened intake on the Sacramento River north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and includes fish screens to prevent the entrapment of juvenile salmon and other threatened and endangered fish species. For that reason, the project has earned broad support from federal officials and agencies interested in improving ecosystem conditions in the Delta and connected waterways.
“This grant represents the last of the funding required to complete the critically-important Davis-Woodland water project. The funding will not only offset costs to ratepayers in Yolo County but will protect iconic salmon runs, including runs of endangered salmon, and other fish by ensuring that the fish screen, which is currently being constructed, is completed on time and without delay,” said Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) who has championed funding for the water project and spearheaded development of the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1). “After more than 20 years of effort, this project will soon provide residents of Davis and Woodland high quality drinking water, improve the ecosystem health of the Delta, and advance our statewide water policy goals. And that is the direct result of the exemplary collaborative efforts of the Cities of Davis and Woodland, and UC Davis.”
“The water project is an exemplary model of a true regional partnership. With our project partners, we have been able to achieve very significant economies of scale in all facets of planning, design, construction and operations, ultimately reducing the long-term cost for water users,” said Bill Marble, Woodland Mayor Pro Tem, WDCWA Vice-Chair and founding Agency Chair. “The importance of this partnership to ours and future generations cannot be overstated,” he added.
(Press Release from Senator Wolk’s Office) – Today Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) applauded the announcement of an $8.1 million grant of Proposition 1 funding by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for completion of the joint intake and fish screen benefiting the Regional Surface Water Supply Project.
The grant was awarded yesterday to the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency (WDCWA) and Reclamation District 2035 to help finance installation of a high-tech fish screen on the largest unscreened water intake on the Sacramento River. The screen will provide safeguards to prevent entrapment of migrating fish, several of which are listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The award is one of several in the first round of grants by CDFW for Ecosystem and Watershed Restoration Projects through Proposition 1.
“This grant represents the last of the funding required to complete the critically-important fish screen for the Woodland-Davis water project. The funding will not only offset costs to ratepayers in Yolo County but will protect iconic salmon runs, including runs of endangered salmon, and other fish by ensuring that the fish screen, which is currently being constructed, is completed on time and without delay,” said Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) who has championed funding for the water project, and spearheaded development of the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1). “After more than 20 years of effort, this project will soon provide residents of Davis and Woodland high quality drinking water, improve the ecosystem health of the Delta, and advance our statewide water policy goals. And that is the direct result of the exemplary collaborative efforts of Davis, Woodland, and UC Davis.”
A cornerstone of the regional surface water project is a water intake on the Sacramento River to be jointly operated by the WDCWA in partnership with Water Reclamation District 2035. The intake will divert up to 45,000 acre-feet of water per year for Woodland and Davis from the Sacramento River. That water will be delivered to a new regional water plant, treated, and delivered to Woodland, Davis and UC Davis, a project partner. But, under state and federal law, the intake cannot be operated without the installation of a fish screen.
“Installing fish screens is the right thing to do, but it’s too costly on the local level and requires substantial financial contributions from both the federal and state governments,” said Dan Wolk, WDCWA Chair and Mayor of the City of Davis. “We appreciate this administration for prioritizing these important projects and honoring its commitment to provide matching funds for the federal investment.”
Plans for the Davis-Woodland water project, scheduled for completion February of 2017, began in 1994. The regional project will improve water quality, water supply reliability, and wastewater discharge for the Cities of Davis and Woodland, and UC Davis, while also reducing degradation of Yolo County’s groundwater supplies.
“It was a team effort and our success results from the work of many, including our board, both past and present, our amazing staff and our state representatives Senator Lois Wolk and Assemblyman Bill Dodd. They have been strong advocates for the municipal, agricultural and environmental benefits of this project and we thank them for their leadership,” said Bill Marble, WDCWA Vice-Chair and Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Woodland.
“This is the bold-font exclamation point on an amazing story of regional collaboration and leadership in government,” said Robert Thomas, Board President for RD 2035. “We married municipal, agricultural and environmental interests and together worked with local, state and federal officials to fund and build a project that leaves everyone and everything better than we found it. This is especially true of the Sacramento River and San Joaquin Delta environments.”
Once complete, the project will serve more than two-thirds of the urban population of Yolo County, as well as UC Davis.
Other grants awarded yesterday by the CDFW included:
- $800,484 to the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences for reconstructing juvenile salmon growth, condition and Delta habitat use in the 2014-15 drought and beyond;
- $625,740 to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine for drought-related high water temperature impacts survival of California salmonids through disease, increasing predation risk;
- $867,235 to the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences to study hydrodynamic influences on the food webs of restoring tidal wetlands;
- $678,275 to the UC Davis Office of Research to study the effect of drought on Delta Smelt vital rates;
- $331,148 to Yolo County for the Yolo Bypass Westside Tributaries Flow Monitoring Project;
- $969,238 to the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences to study problems and promise of restoring tidal marsh to benefit native fishes in the North Delta during drought and flood;
- $145,944 to Ducks Unlimited for Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Habitat and Drainage Improvement Project Permitting’
- $990,312 to the Solano County Water Agency through the Watershed Restoration Grant Program for Lower Putah Creek Watershed Restoration; and
- $839,449 to Solano Land Trust Rush Ranch Lower Spring Branch Creek and Suisun Hill Hollow Tidal Connections Project.