SAN DIEGO --The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors today voted to explore the feasibility of a water transfer from the Kern County Water Agency and to solicit other Northern California water transfer proposals.
"Water transfers will play an increasing role in helping to provide a reliable, cost effective water supply for the San Diego region," said Chris Frahm, chair of the Authority's board of directors. "Transfers from Northern California sources will not only enhance the reliable volume of our water supplies, they will help the Authority meet its overall water quality goals."
Kern receives water from the State Water Project, a water conveyance system that delivers to its contractors water resulting from snowmelt in the Sierra Nevada of Northern California. This water has lower salinity, and, when blended with the rest of the Authority's water supply -- most of which comes from the Colorado River -- would improve the overall quality of this region's water.
The Bakersfield-based Kern County Water Agency has proposed the possible permanent transfer of up to 100,000 acre feet of its 1,153,400 acre feet State Water Project entitlement to the Authority. Kern maintains groundwater storage that it has also included in its proposal as facilities the Authority could use to store water it buys from Kern in wet years for use later in dry years.
The Authority will explore several important issues with Kern. These issues include price, the reliability of deliveries, technical and operating issues, and the wheeling of the water through the State Water Project and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California facilities.
In addition to pursuing discussions with Kern, the Authority plans to issue a request for proposals to other potential suppliers of Northern California water that also might be able to help the Authority provide a more reliable water supply in drought years and improve this region's water quality.
The Authority signed its first water transfer agreement April 29, entering into a contract with the Imperial Irrigation District that will allow San Diego County to receive up to 200,000 acre feet of Colorado River water conserved by IID each year. The agreement will last up to 75 years and the water's price will be less than that delivered to the Authority by MWD for the first 10 years, and will be competitive thereafter.
Return to the U.S. Water News Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water News Homepage