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The Department of Water Resources and the Imperial Irrigation District have signed an agreement providing $126 million in State funding to IID to design and construct a 23-mile lined canal parallel to the existing unlined portion of the Bureau of Reclamation's All-American Canal to reduce seepage losses. Cost associated with environmental compliance and mitigation also are covered under the agreement.
The funding, authorized by 1998 State legislation, was intended to assist local water agencies with the implementation of projects or programs specified in California's Draft Colorado River Water Use Plan.
The draft plan, available at http://www.crb.ca.gov, describes actions California will take to reduce its use of Colorado River water from historical levels of more than 5 million acre-feet (MAF) annually to California's basic interstate allocation of 4.4 MAF annually.
California historically has been able to use part of the water allocated to Nevada and Arizona, but those states are now taking their full allocations.
In the absence of implementing the water use plan, Colorado River supplies, currently available to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, would be reduced by about half at the 4.4 MAF allocation level.
The lined All-American Canal will conserve an estimated 67,700 acre-feet per year of water that is currently lost to seepage.
Part of the conserved water additionally will facilitate implementing the San Luis Rey Indian Water Rights Settlement Act, as provided for in 1988 federal legislation.
The All-American Canal, which runs parallel to the U.S.-Mexico international border in southern Imperial County, conveys water from the Colorado River into the Imperial and Coachella valleys.
The Department of Water Resources operates and maintains the State Water Project, provides dam safety and flood control and inspection services, assists local water districts in water management and water conservation planning and plans for future statewide water needs.