Agencies team up to increase southern California’s water supply

Metropolitan-Water Authority agreement responds to governor’s call for action on drought

LOS ANGELES, December 15, 2021– (BUSINESS WIRE) – The San Diego County Water Authority and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California have reached an agreement that will provide water to parts of Southern California facing extraordinary supply constraints in because of the State Water Project reductions.

Under an agreement approved today by the board of directors of Metropolitan and previously authorized by the board of directors of the San Diego County Water Authority, Metropolitan will secure additional groundwater in 2022 from the Semitropic Water Bank in Kern County. Metropolitan can use this water to service areas in the northwest and northeast parts of its service area that are not connected to its Colorado River supplies and that are heavily dependent on limited supplies from the State Water Project.

“Metropolitan is committed to doing everything possible to bring more water to communities in our service area that are particularly affected by drought. We are delighted that the Water Authority is partnering with us in this effort, supporting the good. – to be all of Southern California, “said Gloria D. Gray, Chairman of the Metropolitan Board.” We’re all in the same boat. And we all need to do our part, including using water as efficiently as possible. “

Water Authority board chairman Gary Croucher expressed a similar view. “We thank Metropolitan Council President Gloria D. Gray and General Manager Adel Hagekhalil for partnering with us in a way that benefits all of Southern California,” said Croucher. “We expect this to be the first of many innovative and collaborative solutions with Metropolitan to support our collective economy and our quality of life.”

Under the agreement, Metropolitan will purchase 4,200 acre-feet of Water Authority reserves in the Semitropic Original Water Bank in 2022 for $ 893 per acre-foot. Metropolitan will also lease an additional 5,000 acre-feet of “offtake capacity” from the Water Authority bank account.

Withdrawal capacity – a function of the size of the groundwater pumping and distribution system – gives Metropolitan the ability to withdraw more of its own groundwater stored in the semi-tropical water bank. One acre-foot equals 326,000 gallons, which is enough to service about three typical Southern California homes for a year.

In 2008, the Water Authority provided supplies to the Semitropic Water Bank in the San Diego area in anticipation of the drought. Due to other investments in the supply and storage and sustained conservation of water in San Diego County, the Water Authority does not need to use its Semitropic account to meet expected water demands. of the region in 2022, thus offering the possibility of making this water available to other parts of the state.

The 2020 and 2021 water years were the driest two-year streak on record in California. And in August, Lake Oroville – the main reservoir for the State Water Project – hit its lowest point since filling in the 1970s. Earlier this month, the state announced that if hydrologic conditions do not change. ” deliveries from the state water project next year would be limited to what is necessary to ensure the health and safety of residents, and no water would be delivered under the allocation system. normal. . Access to the semi-tropical water bank is important because it is strategically located along the California Aqueduct and can complement the state’s limited project deliveries.

Much of Southern California can rely on a diverse portfolio of Colorado River water, local supplies, and stored reserves, when supplies for state projects are limited. However, parts of the Metropolitan service area – including communities in northern LA County, Ventura County, and San Bernardino County – cannot receive water from the Colorado River and are more dependent on supplies from the Colorado River. state project. Metropolitan has taken significant steps to modify its delivery infrastructure to reduce this dependent area.

The agency also continues to promote increased water efficiency in Southern California. The Metropolitan board declared a water supply alert in August and a drought emergency in November, both calling for increased conservation. The council also approved a series of measures to expand water delivery and efficient use programs. Depending on local conditions, some metropolitan member agencies have put in place mandatory conservation measures.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that supplies water to 26 member agencies serving 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and northern California to supplement local supplies and help develop increased conservation, recycling, storage and resource management programs.

San Diego County Water Authority supports a regional economy of $ 253 billion and the quality of life of 3.3 million people with a decades-long water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency established in 1944, the Water Authority provides wholesale water supplies to 24 retail water suppliers, including towns, special quarters and a military base.

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Ed Joyce
San Diego County Water Authority
(949) 276-1675 cell
[email protected]

Rebecca Kimitch
Southern California Metropolitan Aquatic District
(202) 821-3253 cell
[email protected]

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