Written by The Business Journal Staff
The Semitropic Water Storage District will hold a public scoping meeting to outline plans for a new water storage reservoir and conveyance facilities to be built in the Tulare Lake area.
The public comment meeting will be held Jan. 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Bravo Farms in Kettleman City.
The district says the reservoir would be designed to store floodwater and excess water from streams to Tulare Lake, which include the Kings, Kaweah, and Tule rivers, and other waters that may become available for storage and management such as State Water Project flows.
The project — on 19,700 acres — would feature 6- to 8-foot levees enabling them to store 15,000 and 30,000 acre feet. The new facilities would be tied to the California Aqueduct for conveyance to the district in Kern County. The project objectives include:
— Improved local water supply reliability from floodwaters from the south fork of the Kings River system and other Tulare Lake tributaries
— Reduced levels of flood impacts in the Tulare Lake basin and along the lower Kings River and upper San Joaquin River
— Enhanced wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities in Tulare Lake lakebed
— Improved water conditions within the district
The district says floods occur about three years out of every ten when the new facility would capture floodwater and store it for later use.
Improvements are to include local conveyance facilities from the Kings River to move water to the conveyance infrastructure and/or surface storage impoundment, and a new canal from the South Fork Canal to the proposed surface storage reservoir. The project will provide flood reduction benefits to agricultural lands in the Tulare Lake lakebed, communities surrounding Tulare Lake and areas downstream on the north fork of the Kings River — in particular, from Crescent Weir to Mendota Pool.
Semitropic Water Storage District is one of eight water storage districts in California and is the largest in Kern County. The district delivers water to nearly 300 customers for the irrigation of approximately 140,000 acres for agricultural uses. Semitropic also supplies energy to a variety of users and provides groundwater banking and storage services.
Established in 1958, Semitropic Water Storage District covers an area of more than 220,000 acres. It began as an irrigation district for the purpose of securing State Water Project supplies to reduce groundwater overdraft.