A bimonthly column written from SSWD General Manager Dan York on important issues and updates regarding various District matters.
I’m excited to share some important news with you about a new contract SSWD signed in October 2018 with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that has long-lasting benefits for our customers. It’s called a Long-Term Warren Act Contract, and it allows SSWD to have access to surface water supplies during wet or average years for the next 27 years. It’s a huge accomplishment and a long-time coming. SSWD’s board first began discussing their desire to secure a Long-Term Warren Act Contract two decades ago.
Here’s why this contract is so important:
SSWD draws most of its water supplies from the groundwater basin underneath our service area. Over the years, SSWD, with your support, has been a leader in developing the infrastructure needed to access other sources of water so that the basin can be sustainably managed. This leadership was possible with the vision and investment by our customers, SSWD staff, and board members who came before us.
In a similar way, this contract is an investment in reliable supplies and the health of our groundwater basin, not only for now, but also the next generation. The new contract allows SSWD to receive up to 29,000 acre feet of water at Folsom Reservoir purchased from Placer County Water Agency. That’s about enough water to serve nearly 43,500 households for a year. Reclamation owns and operates Folsom Reservoir, and the contract was essential to accessing these supplies.
The Long-Term Warren Act Contract will allow SSWD to use surface water during years when there is plenty of rain so that the groundwater basin can recharge. During dry years, or during a drought, SSWD can use groundwater so that more surface water can flow into Folsom Reservoir and down the American River to help fish and wildlife. In this way, the contract’s benefits extend beyond SSWD’s boundaries to the entire Sacramento region and even beyond to help the Delta.
The contract represents an important milestone in our efforts to create a means for delivering water to stabilize and sustain a healthy groundwater supply for our customers and the future.
If you’re interested in learning more about SSWD’s water supplies, more information is available on our District at a Glance page.
You can also learn more about the region’s groundwater supplies on the Sacramento Groundwater Authority website at https://sgah2o.org/