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California Water Commission to Consider Revised Regulations on Eligibility of Water Storage Projects for Proposition 1 Funding

On September 2, the California Water Commission (CWC) released revised draft regulations designed to implement the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP). The regulations govern eligibility for $2.7 billion in Proposition 1 funding allocated for water storage projects. Final comments on these revised regulations are due to the CWC on October 3, 2016, with the final rulemaking expected in December 2016.

The regulations proposed by the CWC identify seven types of projects that will be eligible for WSIP funding, namely: a) surface storage projects identified in the CALFED Record of Decision; b) groundwater storage projects; c) groundwater contamination or remediation projects with water storage benefits; d) conjunctive use projects; e) reservoir reoperation projects; f) local surface storage projects that improve water system operation; and g) regional surface storage projects that improve water system operation.

Under the draft regulations, projects will be selected for WSIP funding through a two-step application process. In the first step, a pre-application containing basic applicant and project information is submitted. After the pre-application period, project proponents will submit a detailed application, including technical information and an explanation of the public benefits to be provided by the proposed project.

The CWC held a meeting on September 16 to hear public comment on the revised draft regulations. Additional written comments may be submitted until October 3, 2016, and should be addressed to WSIPComments@cwc.ca.gov or by mail to the California Water Commission at: P.O. Box 924836, Sacramento, CA 94236. The final regulations are expected by December 2016, and funds will be awarded between March 2017 and January 2022. Additional details, including meeting agendas, past comments, and rulemaking notices, may be found at https://cwc.ca.gov/Pages/QuantificationRulemaking.aspx.

(Rebecca Smith, Meredith Nikkel)