The cost of building Southern California’s largest drinking water reservoir is expected to increase by around 11%. The escalation is down to construction cost increases, as well as additional requirements in dam safety, environmental compliance and the provision of recreational facilities.

According to Metropolitan Water District project manager Dennis Majors the revised budget will bring the total estimated cost of the Eastside (Domenigoni) reservoir to US$2.19B. Majors said the cost increase reflects the progression of a complex 12-year project as it goes through design, planning, and construction phases. The cost increase brings the price of the three dams forming the reservoir — the 56m high east dam, 40m high saddle dam, and 87m high west dam — to US$854M, up from US$808M.

The reservoir’s construction field operations are the largest in North America, moving more than 200,000cubic yards of earth and rock each day to build the reservoir’s three dams. The project, scheduled for completion in autumn 1999, involves excavation and placing of more than 150million cubic yards of earth and rock. After completion the reservoir will help provide drinking water for for 16 million residents of Southern California.