The Colorado River Management Account was established by Water Code §12560-12565 (SB 1765 [Chapter 813, Statutes of 1998] as amended by SB 654 [Chapter 613, Statutes of 2003]) for funding canal linings and other projects considered essential to reduce the State’s Colorado River water use to its basic apportionment of 4.4 million acre-feet, in normal years, as specified in California’s Colorado River Water Use Plan, the Quantification Settlement Agreement, and other related documents. Funds for the lining of the All American and Coachella canals have been continuously appropriated from State General Funds and recent bond initiatives (e.g., Proposition 50, Water Code § 79567). The Account is administered by the Department of Water Resources, which has executed contracts with the Imperial Irrigation District and San Diego County Water Authority to oversee construction of the All American and Coachella Canal Lining Projects, respectively. Together these projects would annually conserve up to 93,700 acre-feet of water that is currently being lost due to seepage from the canals. The projects are consistent with provisions of California’s Strategic Growth Plan, in that it helps improve and protect the integrity of major water conveyance features necessary for a healthly and vibrant economy.
The bond funds allocated for this program have been equally divided between the two projects listed above. At this time the Coachella Canal Lining Project is close to completion. Upon completion of the Coachella Project, the remaining Proposition 84 funds appropriated under this program will be allocated solely to the All Ameerican Canal Lining Project to cover the continuing costs associated with construction and compliance with legal and environmental requirements. The construction of the projects must meet standards set by the Department of Interior - Bureau of Reclamation, which owns both canals, and is contingent on acceptance of the work by the Bureau. Under terms of the Quantification Settlement Agreement, San Diego County Water Authority will be the beneficiary of the conserved water from these projects, which would help provide a sustainable source of water for over 650,000 people per year.
More information and status reports on the lining of the All American Canal can be found on Imperial Irrigation District’s website at http://www.iid.com/Water_Index.php?pid=64. Information and status reports on the lining of the Coachella Canal can be found on the Coachella Valley Water District’s website at http://www.cvwd.org/news/canal/.