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Construction Contract for High Desert Water Bank Goes to Nicholas Construction

Directors at Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency approved a contract with Nicholas Construction for the Stage 1 and Stage 2 Recharge System Improvements Project for the High Desert Water Bank (HDWB) during a special board meeting on Tuesday, June 7 in an amount not-to-exceed $33,337,110.

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Nicholas, a company in Shafter, California, came in as the lowest of three firms that bid for the project. They hold a current and active Class A, General Engineering Contractor’s License. The firm previously worked on several projects for AVEK, including the installation of underground recharge pipes at Westside Water Bank.

The bid from Nicholas was lower than the project’s budgeted figure of $39,549,339. The capital budget for HDWB is being fully funded by project partner  Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD)

HDWB can store up to 70,000 acre-feet of water annually in the construction facilities funded by MWD. MWD entered the partnership with AVEK also agreeing to fund all operational and maintenance costs in addition to the price of construction.

MWD benefits by recovering 90% of its recharged water, leaving 10% in the ground, a plan intended to improve the health of the Antelope Valley aquifer.

HDWB is a supply and reliability banking project meant to improve the reliability of State Water Project deliveries and AVEK’s financial stability by recharging and recovering up to 70,000 acre-feet of water each year. Motivation for the long-term goal behind this project is to reach a total of 280,000 acre-feet of SWP supplies within the 1,500-acre site in close proximity to the California Aqueduct turnouts.

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