Reclamation Funding Enhances Climate Resiliency Efforts in the Sacramento Region

By on November 2, 2019
California Drought Funding

More than $1.15 million in direct funding from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Basin Study Program has been awarded to the Sacramento region to advance the Sacramento Regional Water Bank and River Arc. The two projects are key to the region’s efforts to enhance resilience to climate change in the coming years.

An innovative groundwater storage program, the Sacramento Regional Water Bank provides the potential for providing both local and statewide water reliability and environmental benefits. Reclamation’s funding will allow the Water Bank to assist the region in developing a sustainable increase use of groundwater as a local water source for use during dry weather periods. In turn, this will allow more water to flow down the lower American River for environmental needs.

With a new conveyance and water treatment facility along the Sacramento River, the River Arc project is intended to help the region diversify water supplies and reduce reliance on the lower American River. This alternative diversion on the Sacramento River was supported as part of the region’s historic Water Forum Agreement and signed in 2000.

Funding of these two projects will allow Reclamation and local partners, including the Regional Water Authority (RWA) and Placer County Water Agency (PCWA), to explore how the Water Bank and River Arc projects could increase local water reliability while providing Reclamation with greater flexibility in operating Folsom Reservoir. Additionally, the Reclamation funding will allow RWA and PCWA to develop and evaluate strategies for operating the Water Bank and River Arc with technical modeling of operating scenarios.

Reclamation’s WaterSMART Basin Studies are collaborative studies, cost-shared with non-Federal partners, to evaluate water supply and demand and help ensure reliable water supplies by identifying strategies to address imbalances in water supply and demand. Each study includes four key elements:

  • State-of-the-art projections of future supply and demand by river basin.
  • An analysis of how the basin’s existing water and power operations and infrastructure will perform in the face of changing water realities.
  • Development of strategies to meet current and future water demands.
  • A trade-off analysis of strategies identified.