More than $100 million in federal stimulus money will go to Red Bluff dam
By Dylan Darling (Contact)
Originally published 12:00 a.m., April 16, 2009
Updated 09:36 a.m., April 16, 2009
More than $144 million in federal economic stimulus funds are set to pay for water projects in the north state, including $109.8 million for a new pumping station at the Red Bluff Diversion Dam.
The Bureau of Reclamation also will spend $26 million to help re-establish 42 miles of salmon and steelhead habitat on Battle Creek; $4.5 million to restore salmon spawning beds along the Trinity River; and $4 million to study sediment on the Klamath River in anticipation of power dam removal.
At a news conference in Sacramento Wednesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that in all $260 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money will be spent on projects around the state.
"They are a first step," he said. "They will help build a bond between the federal government and the people of California."
He said the projects will expand water supplies; repair aging water dams, canals and levees; and lessen the effects of the ongoing drought.
The first project he highlighted was work on the Red Bluff Diversion Dam. Salazar said the screen and pump will protect fish while delivering water to 150,000 agricultural acres via the Tehama-Colusa Canal.
"This project will create and protect over 10,000 jobs while also ensuring healthy and sustainable fish populations for generations to come," said Ken LaGrande, chairman of the Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority, in a statement released after the news conference.
Included in those 10,000 jobs are farmworkers who are dependent on crops that take water delivered through the canal.
Work on the pumping station should start this spring and be completed by late 2013, said Jeff Sutton, general manager for the canal authority. He said the pumping station could mean the end of Lake Red Bluff, which has been created for four months of the year for the past 15 years by the diversion dam.
The project is one of 30 the bureau will fund in the state using the economic stimulus money.
The money for the four north state projects is all going to work tied to dams. Most of that work involves replacing, bypassing or removing the dams.
Meanwhile, the work on the Trinity River focuses on improving the river while keeping the dams along the river in place, said Brian Person, manager of the bureau's Northern California Area Office.
"These restoration sites open up the channel and allow for salmon spawning and rearing habitat," Person said.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the money will revive outdated water supply systems around the state.
"We believe we can't fix all of this without the help of the federal government," he said.
Reporter Dylan Darling can be reached at 225-8266 or email@example.com.
Money for water
More than $260 million in federal economic stimulus money will be spent on water projects around the state, the Bureau of Reclamation announced Wednesday. They include:
Red Bluff Diversion Dam pumping station and fish screen: $109.8 million.
Battle Creek salmon and steelhead habitat restoration: $26 million.
Drought relief, including addition of new wells: $40 million.
Trinity River restoration: $4.5 million.
Klamath River sedimentation study: $4 million.
Bay Delta Conservation Plan: $4 million.
Folsom Dam safety improvements: $22.3 million.
Other improvements at Folsom Dam: $8.5 million.
Contra Costa Canal: $20 million.
Other projects around the state: $20.7 million.