Water Authority board moves forward on the All American Canal Lining Project

Short Title
Water Authority board moves forward on the All American Canal Lining Project
Board approves additional funds to complete canal-lining projects
April 27, 2006

The San Diego County Water Authority board of directors today approved moving forward with the full construction of the All American Canal Lining Project by adding  $38.3 million to its Capital Improvement Program budget. The funds will cover increased construction costs of the project.

“The water recovered from lining the All American and Coachella canals represents a highly reliable water supply for San Diego County for over a century,” said Water Authority Board Chairman James Bond. “This is an investment in the future for all of the residents and businesses in our region.”

The All American Canal and Coachella canals will provide San Diego County a total of 77,700 acre-feet of conserved water per year for 110 years.

The AACLP is a 23-mile-long project, comprised of three segments, or reaches, of construction. The Imperial Irrigation District, which will manage the construction project, issued two separate requests for bids for the AACLP construction. Bid Proposal 1 consisted of Reaches 1A and 1B. Bid Proposal 2 consisted of Reach 2 and Reach 3.

The bids on Proposal 1 came in higher than originally projected, requiring the Water Authority board to consider several options before approving the project. These include: completing the construction with Reach 3; completing it without Reach 3; or paying for up to half the cost of Reach 3 and receiving a proportionate amount of water recovered from Reach 3.

The board approved construction of the AACLP with Reach 3, which will increase the Capital Improvement Program budget for Fiscal 2006 and 2007 by $38.3 million. The total AACLP cost with Reach 3 is $251.1 million. With the state of California’s commitment of $135.65 million for construction of the AACLP, the Water Authority will be responsible for $115.45 million of the project costs. The board also approved an additional $4 million to the CIP for increased construction costs on the Coachella Canal-Lining Project, resulting in a total increase to the CIP of $42.3 million.

Constructing concrete-lined canals alongside what are now earthen canals will result in a total annual savings of 67,700 acre-feet on the All American Canal and 26,000 acre-feet on the Coachella Canal for a total of 93,700 acre-feet of water savings per year. The Water Authority will receive 56,200 acre-feet of water from the All American Canal and 21,500 acre-feet from the Coachella Canal annually for 110 years. Over this time, San Diego County will receive 8.5 million acre-feet of water. Another 16,000 acre-feet of water per year from the projects will be made available to several bands of Mission Indians in northern San Diego County, settling a water rights dispute and decades of litigation.

The All-American Canal system is located in the southeastern corner of California, conveying water from the Colorado River to California's Imperial and Coachella valleys. The system includes the 82-mile-long All-American Canal and the 123-mile-long Coachella Canal.

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