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Critical Temperance Flat Agreement Signed

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Federal and local officials have signed an agreement that could bring the Temperance Flat Dam project one step closer to reality.

On a windswept hill overlooking Millerton Lake, local and federal officials signed an agreement to begin a feasibility study of the project.

The study is necessary to draw down money from the state’s water bond as well as federal matching dollars for the multi-billion-dollar dam.

Congressman Jim Costa, who was among more than two dozen elected officials present, says the drought has made it clear that the valley needs more surface water storage.

“Clearly, we need to fix our broken water system and make the same investments that our parents and grandparents made two generations ago. We are living on borrowed time. And when have extended dry periods as we have the last four years, we see the devastation to our farm communities, our farm workers and our farmers,” Costa says.

Temperance Flat would build another dam behind the Friant Dam, creating a new reservoir with nearly three times the storage of Millerton Lake.

The feasibility study could be done by the end of the year.

Jeffrey Hess is a reporter and Morning Edition news host for Valley Public Radio. Jeffrey was born and raised in a small town in rural southeast Ohio. After graduating from Otterbein University in Columbus, Ohio with a communications degree, Jeffrey embarked on a radio career. After brief stops at stations in Ohio and Texas, and not so brief stops in Florida and Mississippi, Jeffrey and his new wife Shivon are happy to be part Valley Public Radio.