Valley water agencies sign joint agreement for planned Temperance Flat Reservoir

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Four water agencies came together at Fresno's City Hall Friday to sign a joint agreement to jump start the efforts of making Temperance Flat Reservoir a reality. (KFSN)

A new reservoir upstream from Friant Dam has been talked about for decades, and the proposal would improve water supply and meet the demands of Valley cities.

Four water agencies came together at Fresno's City Hall Friday to sign a joint agreement to jump start the efforts of making Temperance Flat Reservoir a reality.

"This is an investment in our future, and that's why this project is so important," congressman Jim Costa said.

Just as important is getting the necessary funding, and supporters are seeking $1 billion from the Proposition 1 water bond that California voters passed in 2014.

Friday's signatures were the final piece of an important set of documents that will go before the State Water Commission on August 14.

"The pieces are coming together, and, by August 14, we will be in the ball game," assemblyman Jim Patterson said.

According to experts, Temperance Flat and its 1.3 million acre-foot capacity would provide a secure place to store water for dry years and would capture much more runoff in wet years.

"By building Temperance Flat now we are planning for tomorrow," assemblyman Dr. Joaquin Arambula said. "We're putting our water and making sure we're not sending it out to the ocean but that we're storing it, keeping it behind the dam until we can recharge our aquifers below our grounds."

Friday's joint effort announcement is still the first step in what's already become a long project over the years, and the Bureau of Reclamation has spent tens of millions of dollars on the survey and study of Temperance Flat.

"The bureau has spent a lot of money on this because it was always envisioned they would build another dam behind Friant," Fresno County supervisor Buddy Mendes explained. "They had to build Friant because that's the elevation levels they had to get water levels into Friant-Kern Canal."

Related Topics:
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