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Water Agencies Could Team up to Expand Lyons Reservoir

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Officials from water agencies in Tuolumne and San Joaquin Counties are meeting on Friday to talk about a possible partnership for expansion of Lyons Reservoir.

Tuolumne Utilities District General Manager Tim McCollough says the project is too large and too costly for the TUD to do it alone. He says the Stockton East Water District would be an ideal partner because it already diverts water from the Stanislaus River and has other infrastructure already in place to make use of a Lyons expansion.

Right now, the reservoir north of Twain Harte holds 5,800 acre-feet of water. A larger expansion of up to 50,000 acre-feet of water is estimated to cost roughly $62 million.

McCollough says that if the two agencies don´t come to an agreement on the expansion, the project would remain on the back burner. If there is an agreement, a larger Lyons dam and reservoir would likely still be about 15 years from completion.