Update: Expanding Reservoirs

January 1, 2006


“What’s a Lake Like You Doing in a Place Like This?”

While examining the recreational and habitat potential of East Bay reservoirs in 2003, we also looked at two new water storage proposals: the flooding of portions of Henry Coe State Park and the expansion of Los Vaqueros reservoir near Livermore.

Back in 2003, the Santa Clara Water District (SCWD) proposed building or expanding reservoirs within Coe to address algae contamination at San Luis Reservoir. A group of environmental organizations, led by Defense of Place and Advocates for Coe, criticized the SCWD for considering plans that would damage public land. In May 2003, SCWD stated it had no intention of harming Coe, but Defense of Place and Advocates for Coe remained concerned about a proposed “expandable dam” at Pacheco Reservoir, which would flood portions of the park. Pressing for a stronger guarantee, Defense of Place received confirmation in the fall of 2003 there would be no expandable dam at Pacheco. For the time being, Coe will be spared.

The expansion of Los Vaqueros reservoir is still in the planning stages. The CALFED Bay-Delta Program proposed the expansion as part of its effort to restore the Bay-Delta environment and improve water resources. Voters approved advisory Measure N in 2004, permitting continued study of the proposal. The Sierra Club claims that CALFED has been unclear about plans for mitigation lands, fish protection measures, and funding sources. Scoping meetings are tentatively scheduled for January 24-26, 2006, providing a public forum for concerns.

For more information, contact:

Los Vaqueros Expansion Studies

Sierra Club

Advocates for Coe

Santa Clara Valley Water District

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