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MEDIA STATEMENT: Sacramento Regional Water Bank is Key to Stopping Cycles of Drought

Snow Survey Demonstrates How Climate Change is Here

Sacramento Regional Water Bank is Key to Stopping Cycles of Drought

Jim Peifer, Executive Director of the Regional Water Authority, which represents 20 water providers serving 2 million people in the Sacramento region, issued the following statement in response to today’s manual snow survey conducted at Phillips Station by the California Department of Water Resources.

“Today’s snow survey is yet another reminder of the ‘precipitation whiplash’—continually moving from severe drought followed by record-breaking precipitation—long predicted by climate scientists that is now normal.

“This is just the beginning and is projected to have serious implications to water supplies in the Sacramento region and California. The good news is that we can adapt our water supplies—as a region and a state – to these climate challenges with long-term water efficiency and the right projects.

“Chief among these projects is the Sacramento Regional Water Bank. Until we expand our ability to store—or bank—water in our groundwater aquifer, we will continue to be in a never-ending cycle of drought—some years more severe than others.

“With water banking, local water managers coordinate how they manage and use water between local rivers and the underground aquifer. The Sacramento region’s groundwater aquifer has enough available space to fill Folsom Reservoir twice. During rainy times, when lakes and rivers are full, local water providers use more river water. This allows our groundwater aquifer to refill. During dry times, they use more groundwater. This leaves more water in rivers to sustain the environment.

“In addition, we’re asking local residents to be vigilant about stopping water waste by taking the following actions:

  • “Check soil moisture before turning on sprinklers. Although January was bone dry and the weather is projected to stay that way for the foreseeable future, days are still cooler and shorter. The only way you can know whether your landscape needs water is to check soil moisture with a moisture meter or by digging down with a hand shovel to check soil moisture. You can learn more about checking soil moisture at
  • “Take special care of your trees. Check soil moisture to see if your trees need water, and give them an extra drink if they do. Tree watering tips for both young and mature trees are available at
  • “Check and fix leaks. The most common type of leak is a toilet leak, which can waste 200 gallons of water per day. That’s enough to wash seven loads of laundry every day for a month. You can request a free toilet leak detection kit at

“Creating a Water Bank is one of the solutions included in a comprehensive water resilience portfolio to address drought and climate change called WaterFuture. You can learn more about it at”

The Regional Water Authority (RWA) is a joint powers authority representing 20 water providers serving 2 million people in the greater Sacramento region. Formed in 2001, its primary mission is to help its members protect and enhance the reliability, availability, affordability and quality of water resources. Learn more at