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San Vicente Dam Reaches Full Height

Aired 10/19/12 on KPBS News.

Construction continues on the San Vicente dam in Lakeside, but has reached a major milestone.

The San Vicente dam isn't new. It was built by the city of San Diego in the 1940s. What's new is its size.

The San Vicente dam was 220 feet tall. Now, with construction almost complete, it tops out at 337 feet. The increased height will more than double the volume of water in the reservoir behind it.

It's part of the San Diego County Water Authority's plan for increasing its water storage capacity.

Bill Rose, director of engineering, said 80 percent of San Diego's water is imported through pipes and canals.

He said, "Should those be severed, this reservoir will act as an emergency supply for the region for several months while those repairs could occur."

Construction is expected to be completed next summer. The reservoir could take two to five years to fill.

The San Vincente project, including pipes and pump station, cost just under a billion dollars.

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