Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Objectives

• Develop water supplies for environmental water management that supports fish protection, habitat management, and other environmental water needs.

• Increase water supply reliability for water providers within the San Francisco Bay Area, to help meet municipal and industrial water demands during drought periods and emergencies or to address shortages due to regulatory and environmental restrictions.

Expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir improves Bay Area water supply reliability and water quality while protecting Delta fisheries and providing additional Delta ecosystem benefits.

The proposed project will include a regional intertie (the Transfer-Bethany Pipeline), improved pump stations and pipelines and could increase the reservoir's capacity up to 275,000 acre-feet.

 The proposed project builds upon the successful first phase of expansion from 100,000 to 160,000 acre-feet funded by the Contra Costa Water District and completed in 2012.

 Los Vaqueros is one of the projects being evaluated in the context of a broader Bay Area effort to work collaboratively as a region to improve water supply reliability. 

For More Information

- Contact Marguerite Patil, Special Assistant to the General Manager, CCWD at mpatil@ccwater.com or (925) 688-8018

- Contact Lisa Rainger, Project Manager, Bureau of Reclamation at LRainger@usbr.gov or (916) 978-5090

Contact the CCWD Public Information Office at (925) 688-8109

What Others Are Saying About Los Vaqueros Expansion

"The state can strengthen the Delta levee system, increase recycling and conservation and help farmers convert to more efficient irrigation systems.  And it can increase storage by expanding existing reservoirs, such as Los Vaqueros, where it's environmentally and fiscally feasible.''  

San Jose Mercury News Editorial April 28, 2016 

 "Millions of Bay Area residents could get extra drought insurance against water shortages and quality problems from a proposed $800 million expansion of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir that may have up to 10 water suppliers as partners."

East Bay Times, November 5, 2016 

"...this plan is amazingly simple. The height of the earthen dam would be raised by 51 feet to 269 feet. That would enable Los Vaqueros Reservoir to expand its capacity from 160,000 acre-feet of water to hold 275,000 acre-feet enough to serve 1.4 million residents on an annual basis." 

San Jose Mercury News Editorial April 28, 2016

State and Federal Funding 

The recent drought and passage of Proposition 1 have made it clear that there is broad interest for water storage projects in California.  The competitive process to award state funding is coming together quickly, and the California Water Commission is planning to make initial funding awards in 2018.

Los Vaqueros is one of the original CALFED surface storage projects included in the CALFED Record of Decision (April 2000). Funding for initial studies was provided by both the California Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation.

The Bureau of Reclamation, the long-term federal partner on the project, is providing funding for the ongoing Federal Feasibility Study evaluating potential benefits for wildlife refuge supply, a high priority ecosystem need. CCWD is working with key federal legislators to ensure continued federal funding for completion of the feasibility work.  

The Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project aligns with state and federal storage objectives and the project has the potential to receive both state and federal funds for project implementation. 

Local Funding 

The Contra Costa Water District is working closely with a diverse group of local potential partners. These agencies are evaluating potential participation in the project to help strengthen their water supply portfolios to better manage droughts, emergencies, climate change and regulatory challenges that limit other supplies.  All of these agencies, in addition to CCWD, are providing funding and in-kind services to support completion of the  Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report and the California Water Commission funding application

Potential Local Partners:

  • Alameda County Water District
  • Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency
  • Byron Bethany Irrigation District
  • City of Brentwood
  • East Bay Municipal Utility District
  • East Contra Costa Irrigation District
  • Grassland Water District
  • Santa Clara Valley Water District
  • San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority
  • Zone 7 Water Agency

Next Steps

CCWD is working the the Bureau of Reclamation and the local potential partners to evaluate project alternatives, facilities and operations.

Upcoming key milestones include completion of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report in June 2017, a California Water Commission funding application in August 2017, and completion of the Final Federal Feasibility Report in November 2018.  Construction could begin as early as 2020.