Temperance Flat Dam moves forward

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The passage of Proposition 1 ended a long battle for Valley groups who have been trying to get a water bond passed.

The $7.5 billion water bond sets aside $2.7 billion for three water storage projects including a new dam at Temperance Flat. The project is expected to take eight years.

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After three years of drought in California, the thought of additional water storage appealed to almost 67 percent of the voters.

Temperance Flat Dam above Millerton Lake would triple the amount of water storage. It would basically be a reservoir within a reservoir.

Mario Santoyo of the Latino Water Coalition explained, "The existing Friant Dam and existing Millerton Lake is at that level. It's about half a million acre feet but the construction of Temperance Flat is putting in a new high rise dam."

Passage of Proposition 1 ended a decade of frustration for supporters like Santoyo but the fight will continue to secure funding for the project.

Santoyo said, "Temperance is going to cost somewhere around $2.5 billion so what we would we be looking for from the water bond is about $1.25 billion."

The project would also need to leverage state and federal funds.

Manuel Cunha of the Nisei Farmers League said Valley cities and communities will fiercely compete for money for other water projects.

Cunha said, "It's going to be key to have the $400 million for clean water projects for rural communities actually get implemented."

The city of Fresno also figured to tap into some of the money available for recycling projects.

The water bond was shelved in 2010 and 2012 but passed by a comfortable margin.

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