Water Authority receives two awards for Coachella Canal Lining Project

Short Title
Water Authority receives two awards for Coachella Canal Lining Project
Work honored by American Society of Civil Engineers and Western Council of Construction Consumers
May 12, 2008

The Coachella Canal Lining Project, a critical component of the San Diego County Water Authority’s effort to diversify its water supply, has received two distinguished awards recognizing the project for its innovative design and unique construction.

The San Diego Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers selected the CCLP as its Project of the Year out of 32 projects considered by the organization. The CCLP also received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Western Council of Construction Consumers.

“The awards are a testament to the work and cooperation of everyone involved that made the Coachella Canal Lining Project such an innovative accomplishment,” said Halla Razak, the Water Authority’s Colorado River Programs Director.

On May 17, the Water Authority, Coachella Valley Water District, and the design firms, MWH of Sacramento and GEI Consultants, Inc. of Rancho Cordova will be recognized during the ASCE annual awards dinner at the Hilton San Diego Resort.

The Project of the Year honor was based on categories as the benefits to the well-being of people and communities, environmental mitigation, planning resourcefulness and unique construction methods.

That Outstanding Achievement Award was presented March 10 during the Western Council of Construction Consumers’ annual conference at California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson. The award recognizes both the Water Authority and CVWD for a commitment to excellence in engineering for the design and construction of a high-quality, cost-effective and innovative project.

The CCLP is a key component toward implementing the 2003 Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement, which settled disputes over use of the Colorado River among the lower basin states. The project called for building a concrete-lined 36-mile section of the Coachella Canal to replace the earthen canal that had been in place since 1948, when the canal first began operation. The canal lining project will conserve 26,000 acre-feet of water, of which 21,500 acre-feet will be transferred to the Water Authority annually for 110 years.

“The lining project is a critical step toward meeting the water supply needs of the Water Authority’s member agencies now and into the future,” Razak said.

A significant element of the project involved addressing the environmental challenges. Mitigation measures included such projects as the development of a 17-acre managed marsh, maintenance of the Dos Palmas aquatic habitat, maintenance of 325 acres of desert habitat, tree replacement, the placement of animal fencing and drinking facilities, and fishery mitigation.

The project cost $119.7 million, with the California Department of Water Resources providing approximately $83.6 million and the Water Authority about $36 million. Along with funding the project, the Water Authority provided project oversight and review of construction, property acquisition and environmental mitigation activities. CVWD managed the construction of the project.

The concrete-lined canal is in operation and the Water Authority began receiving water from the project in December 2006.

Along with the Water Authority and CVWD, project partners in the CCLP were the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Water Resources.

MWH and GEI Consultants provided design, construction support and construction management services. The project constructor was R & L Brosamer, Inc., and R.W. Beck, Inc. was special consultant to the Water Authority. Harvey Consulting Group, LLC; AMEC Earth and Environmental, Inc.; and ASM Affiliates, Inc. provided project environmental coordination. Advisers to the project included the California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the San Luis Rey Indian Parties.

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