This spring, the Los Vaqueros dam will be growing. By increasing the height of the dam by 34 feet, the East Bay Reservoir, which provides water to 550,000 people, will grow by about 60%.

It has been ten years since the project was first investigated. At that time, the hope was to increase the above-ground water storage capacity to nearly five years worth of water.

From the Contra Costa Times:

One of California’s newest reservoirs is set to get 60 percent bigger with the award this week of a Contra Costa Water District construction contract to raise the dam at Los Vaqueros Reservoir by 34 feet.

The expansion is meant to better protect the district’s 550,000 customers from drought, though it also is expected to improve water quality and give the agency more flexibility to ease water diversions at environmentally sensitive times, district officials said.

The Concord-based district, which built the reservoir in the late 1990s, will continue to be the sole owner. But district officials are leaving the door open for other Bay Area agencies to invest in it later, and possibly even further enlarge the reservoir.

Read the full article here.