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Study Could Pave Way For More Local Water Available From New Melones

Sonora, CA — At the request of the Calaveras County Water District, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors is asking that federal lawmakers appropriate $500,000 for a study regarding New Melones Reservoir.

It was noted at today’s Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors meeting that the concept of doing a study on the reservoir was approved as part of a large water package passed by the Congress and signed by former President Barack Obama in late 2016. However, no funding was allocated for the New Melones study. CCWD is hoping to conduct the study to review existing storage, and projects that could better maximize capacity and beneficial use of water within the Stanislaus River Basin.

CCWD General Manager Dave Eggerton addressed the board this morning. It was specifically noted in the meeting documents that the study could lead to the development of programs supporting groundwater recharge, securing additional supplies for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, better meeting the water needs of local tribes, providing further drought protection, and ensuring reliable supplies for the Columbia CAL Fire Air Attack Base.

The supervisors voted unanimously to endorse CCWD’s request for federal funding, and to send letters to Congressman Tom McClintock and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris noting its importance.