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Three critical projects to reduce flood risk and ensure a sustainable water supply for the people of Yuba County received much-needed financial support this week from Yuba Water Agency.
Browns Valley Irrigation District’s Sicard Ditch Pipeline Project - $637,320
A $637,320 grant provides funding to help Browns Valley Irrigation District complete project engineering and design, and the California Environmental Quality Act requirements needed to get the Sicard Ditch Pipeline project shovel-ready.
“This is a game changer for us,” said Ryan McNally, Browns Valley Irrigation District general manager. “Not only will this increase water supply reliability, but it will also give us the ability to eventually serve several hundred additional parcels.”
The Sicard Ditch Pipeline, when complete, will be nearly 10 miles long and will save the district approximately 4,000 acre-feet of water per year, which is equivalent to about four feet of water elevation at Collins Lake.
Once the first phases of the project are complete, Browns Valley Irrigation District will begin looking for external funding to leverage Yuba Water Agency’s grant.
(Image shown: the first phase of construction of the Sicard Ditch Pipeline, completed in 2015)
Yuba Water also approved a grant for Olivehurst Public Utility District to study the possibility of a new potable water system in southeastern Yuba County.
The $50,000 grant will provide funding for an engineering study for the potable water infrastructure needed to support the sports and entertainment and industrial zones near the new Hard Rock - Fire Mountain Casino Resort.
Olivehurst Public Utility District is in the process of annexing this location into its area of responsibility, and the district determined that a realistic plan and cost estimate for the potable water infrastructure is needed.
The water agency additionally approved a cash-flow loan for the Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority to help advance the Goldfields levee project.
The $2 million loan will provide funding to move forward with the acquisition of approximately 108-acres of land needed for the project.
Total cost for the land acquisition is approximately $7.7 million and the California Department of Water Resources has agreed to cover $5.8 million of that cost, with Three Rivers paying the remainder. Due to the uncertainty of when the state funding will become available, Yuba Water has agreed to provide a bridge loan to Three Rivers to keep the project on schedule.
The project will reduce flood risk for properties within Reclamation District 784’s service area, and will meet the state’s 200-year levee standards, meaning there is a 1-in-200 chance in any given year that a storm could overwhelm the system.
Three Rivers has agreed to reimburse Yuba Water Agency by 2020.
Yuba Water’s loan to Three Rivers is part of the agency’s long-standing mission to reduce flood risk for Yuba County. In prior years, Yuba Water has assisted Three Rivers with policy, technical and financial aid, including carrying the local cost-share for the construction of the Feather River Setback Levee. Yuba Water is repaying $5.5 million per year for that project, which was part of the levee repairs and improvements completed under the authority of the federal Yuba River Basin Flood Damage Reduction Project.
Yuba Water is able to make these financial contributions to support projects within its mission areas for the benefit of the people of Yuba County. The agency’s missions include reducing flood risk, ensuring a sustainable water supply, hydropower generation, fish habitat enhancement and recreation at New Bullards Bar.