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The Los Vaqueros (“The Cowboys” in Spanish) Reservoir is in the northern Diablo range in California. Construction began in 1994 by the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) in 1998 to improve the quality of drinking water in Contra Costa County. The dam and most of the other major items were completed by December 1997, and the American Society of Civil Engineers named the project the "Outstanding Civil Engineering Accomplishment" in the US that year. The reservoir was filled by January 1999, a year ahead of schedule. An expansion project (2010-2012) raised the height of the dam to increase storage capacity from 100,000 to 160,000 acre-ft of water. A19,300 acre (78 sq km) watershed surrounds the 1,500-acre (6.1 sq km) reservoir protects rare, threatened, and endangered species including fairy shrimp, bald and golden eagles, Alameda whipsnakes, western pond turtles, California tiger salamanders, California red-legged frogs, San Joaquin kit foxes, and San Francisco dusky-footed wood rats.
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