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By Miriam Raftery

July 17, 2014 (San Vicente) - The tallest dam raising in the United States is now complete.

On Wednesday, the San Diego County Water Authority  held a dedication ceremony for the new dam at San Vicente Reservoir in Lakeside.

The new dam is 337 feet high – an increase of 117 feet over its original height. The project took three years and cost $416 million to complete.

The added water in the reservoir will be able to supply 300,000 homes each year—and provide San Diego County with extra water in case of emergency.

But not just yet—it will take an estimated two to five years for the reservoir to refill to its new level, depending on rainfall and availability of imported water, as well as how much water area residents consume.

The lake remains closed to recreational use until the water levels rises to the height of a newly installed boat ramp.

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San Vee

The San Vicente Dam Raise Project is the largest piece and final major element of the Water Authority’s $1.5 billion Emergency Storage Project, a system of reservoirs, interconnected pipelines, and pumping stations designed to ensure a six-month supply of water for the San Diego region in case imported water deliveries are interrupted – for instance, by an earthquake. About one-third of the reservoir’s new capacity – 52,000 acre-feet – is for emergency use. The project also provides 100,000 acre-feet of “carryover” storage that is designed to be filled during wet years and tapped in dry years. Source: