A plan to build an interlake tunnel to connect Lakes San Antonio and Nacimiento in San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties will get $10 million from the State of California General Fund.
Governor Jerry Brown signed Central Coast State Senator Bill Monning's legislation on Tuesday, allocating those funds.
“The allocation of the $10 million for the construction of the Interlake Tunnel will improve water reliability and provide flood control to the region, as well as provide environmental and economic benefits to the Salinas Valley," said Monning. "I have been working closely with Senator Cannella and Assemblymember Alejo, and other regional stakeholders for a number of years to advance this project and I am extremely pleased that it will now be moving forward.”
On average, Nacimiento receives three times the runoff as San Antonio, with rainy season overflow heading downstream instead of being stored. The tunnel would allow that water to transfer instead into San Antonio.
The Monterey County Water Resources Agency which manages the lakes told KCBX that the tunnel could help store billions of additional gallons of water. Project manager Dave Chardovoyne said Tuesday that the project has a planned completion date of February 2020.