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First leaders selected to head new Los Vaqueros Reservoir Joint Powers Authority

The eight water agencies comprising the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Joint Powers Authority held its first official meeting Nov. 10, and selected its first leaders.

The Tri-Valley’s Zone 7 Water Agency board president Angela Ramirez Holmes was named the authority’s first chairperson. Anthea Hansen, the general manager of Stanislaus County’s Del Puerto Water District, was named vice-chairperson.

The authority was formed in October 2021 to oversee the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project. Los Vaqueros is an off-stream reservoir in East Contra Costa County, built by the Contra Costa Water District, that currently holds 160,000 acre-feet of water.

The project will expand the reservoir to a much-needed 275,000 acre-feet and add new conveyance facilities providing environmental, water supply reliability, operational flexibility, water quality and recreational benefits.

Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project Map graphic illustrates how water pumped from Delta intakes is routed to transfer facilities and various Bay Area water agencies. (Courtesy of Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project)

The Los Vaqueros JPA will oversee design, construction, operation, maintenance and funding of the project.

Ramirez Holmes said in a statement:

“This is an exciting and promising endeavor for all agencies involved as water supply reliability is foremost on our minds during the ongoing drought crisis. … The members of the JPA will bring their diverse perspectives based on who they represent, and we will work collaboratively to come to mutually beneficial decisions.”

The project has already been approved for $470 million in state funding and recently earned an additional $50 million in federal appropriations.

The remainder of the project costs will be covered by additional federal appropriations and local partner contributions. The JPA will meet on a monthly basis. For more information, go to www.losvaquerosjpa.com.

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