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Canal Lining

Coachella Canal Lining Project

Coachella Valley Water District


The Coachella Canal annually delivers approximately 330,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water to the Coachella Valley Water District, which is located on the north end of the Salton Sea.  The 121-mile-long canal extends from the All American Canal and terminates in the Coachella Valley.  While the amount of flow in the Coachella Canal has seasonal fluctuations, irrigation deliveries are made every day of the year.


Prior to the Coachella Canal Lining Project, the annual volume of water lost from seepage was approximately 32,000 acre-feet along the 36.5-mile earthen section of the canal.  The CCLP consisted of concrete-lining this 36.5 - mile long section of the canal with no interruption to District deliveries.


Project Information

Dahl Consultants’ Principals, Wayne Dahl* and John Dahl*, served as Project Manager and Construction Manager, respectively, for the design and construction of this project.  The $100 million dollar project included working with a multi-agency coordinating committee, coordination with Reclamation, and environmental monitoring during construction.


The EIS Preferred Alternative called for the existing canal to be lined in-place by utilizing temporary 600 cfs bypasses during construction. However, an alternatives analysis was conducted early during design that determined a parallel canal design was the best option for meeting all the project constraints including limited project funds. The team overcame the challenges of keeping water flowing in the canals during construction by innovatively designing and building a parallel canal adjacent to the old canal in the same 200 foot-wide right-of-way.


The design work included, preliminary design, hydraulic analyses, surveying and mapping, geotechnical engineering, permit acquisition, cost estimating, and final design of the Coachella Canal Lining Project.  Our team also assisted the District in scheduling and providing support related to coordination of environmental activities.  The design and construction included six new check structures and twenty-six double 10.5’ x 10.5’ box siphons constructed at the existing desert washes.


* Work completed primarily while with another firm.


Key Project Elements

  • 36.5 mile long concrete lined canal
  • Conserved 26,000 af/y of water
  • 6 check structures including gates and control buildings
  • 5.7 million cubic yards of dirt excavated
  • 56 large mammal permanent watering ponds
  • Coordination of multiple agencies
  • System remained in service during construction