"As California endures water restrictions due to widespread drought, a proposed $2.5-billion reservoir expansion project in Santa Clara County promises to increase the amount of freshwater for more than a million people.
But a group of environmentalists and landowners claim in a lawsuit filed earlier this month that the local water district did not conduct the necessary environmental studies to determine how the project planned near Pacheco Pass would affect the region’s wildlife and undeveloped land.
The coalition, which includes local residents, ranch owners and the Sierra Club, argues in its lawsuit filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court that the proposed project is “environmentally destructive, high-cost and high-risk” and would affect wildlife habitat, cultural sites and other historic sites.
The Pacheco Reservoir sits in eastern Santa Clara County. The artificial lake can currently hold approximately 5,500 acre-feet of water, but under the proposed expansion, that capacity would increase to 140,000 acre-feet of water, according to the Santa Clara Valley Water District, which is based in San Jose."