During a visit to Fresno Tuesday, Speaker of the California Assembly Anthony Rendon highlighted one key aspect of the Temperance Flat Dam proposal that could give it a boost over other water storage projects.
While not specifically favoring one project over another, Rendon says the potential dam and reservoir has a key quality the other proposed mega project does not…location.
“In a state where we are dealing with climate change. In a state where we know that some catastrophic event could make things exceptionally difficult for water conveyance out of the delta. We need to make sure we have projects that are flexible enough so they can be used in a multitude of different ways,” says Rendon.
Water officials in the Central Valley have submitted an application to the California Water Commission seeking more than $1 billion from the water bond approved by voters in 2014.
Temperance Flat is one of two major projects asking for significant funding from the bond.
The other is Sites Reservoir which is proposed to be built north of Sacramento.
That means, any water stored there would have to be moved through or under the delta to be delivered to farms in the valley and residents in Southern California.
If approved, Temperance Flat would be built above Friant Dam costing a total of $3 billion and would have a storage capacity three times that of Millerton Lake.
Rendon was in the valley at the request of Fresno Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula. Arambula has been an outspoken advocate for the Temperance Flat Dam.
“Being from the valley I think we know the importance of water. Water is our life blood. Without it, we can’t work,” Arambula says.
Arambula acknowledges that the ultimate decision lies with the California Water Commission and not the state legislature. However, he thinks having influential politicians like Rendon or Governor Jerry Brown back Temperance Flat over Sites would be a big boost to the project. It is likely that only one of the projects will be funded.
Arambula says he thinks the commission will have a decision within six months.