Valley leaders request $1.3 billion for Temperance Flat Dam


Today valley leaders achieved a major milestone in funding Temperance Flat Dam. Today they officially requested state funds to build it. The 1.3-million acre foot proposed dam would be built on the backside of Millerton Reservoir. 

Temperance Flat Dam has been talked about for decades and those supporting the proposed water storage said today is a milestone and a step in the right direction to finally fund the dam.

The San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority signed off on an application requesting Proposition One state funding for it.

Some of that money from Prop One is earmarked for water storage like the proposed Temperance Flat Dam.

Officially applying for the funding is a part of the advocacy group’s three step plan to fund it. First, requesting 1.3-billion from Proposition One before seeking federal funding and then private donors.

President of the San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority Steve Worthley said long-term water storage is vital for the state’s agriculture based economy.

“This is the largest potential project constructed south of the Delta. It’s critical because we’ve always had a problem of over pumping ground water. We need to bring our water use into balance with our water availability. We wouldn’t have a valley of people here without agriculture and without water we don’t have agriculture,” he said.

Not everyone supports the project. 5th generation Temperance Flat resident Shannon Lodge protests the proposed dam.

“My house would be 300 ft under water it it’s built. My family’s blood has watered that land they settled it with the  gold rush,” she said.

She said money is better spent elsewhere.

“We could make it so much more practical and affordable than damming a river that’s already been dammed and hoping maybe it’ll rain enough to fill it,” said Lodge.

However Worthley said this dam will bring the state economic prosperity for years to come.

“This is a project that can store the water when we have heavy flows like this year, meter that water out, but also gets it into the ground water to keep ourselves the agriculture powerhouse that we are,” he said.

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