USBR seeks inputs on proposed revamp of Friant-Kern Canal in California


The US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and Friant Water Authority are seeking public inputs on the alternatives for the repair of the 53km stretch of the Friant-Kern Canal in eastern San Joaquin Valley, California.

The stretch of the canal has lost more than half of its capacity of water flow because of subsidence, sinking of the earth from groundwater extraction.

The Friant Water Authority, the canal’s non-federal operating entity, is working with USBR to meet the state and federal environmental law requirements for the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project.

The Friant-Kern Canal can deliver water to more than one million acres of productive farmland in the region. The decreased capacity in the canal has resulted in a reduction of up to 300,000 acre-feet of water deliveries in certain water years and the effects are claimed to be very prominent in the middle reach of the canal, between milepost 88 and milepost 121.

Repair and fixing the canal is expected to restore its capacity from its present estimated 1,600ft³ per second to the original 4,000ft³ per second across the most critical area near the Dear Creek Check Structure at milepost 103

US Bureau of Reclamation regional director Ernest Conant said: “Addressing water infrastructure challenges is a top priority for Reclamation and the Friant-Kern Canal fix is front and centre. Repairing the capacity of the Friant-Kern Canal is critical to providing reliable water supplies to one of the most agriculturally-productive regions in the nation.”

Recently, USBR announced the availability of up to $1m through its Desalination and Water Purification Research Program. The funding opportunity seeks cost-effective new water treatment technologies.

Under the two-phase funding opportunity, selected applicants can pitch their new technology to technical experts in the fall of this year.


A view of Friant-Kern Canal. (Credit: Friant Water Authority.)

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