Sacramento-Area Water Providers Awarded $8.74 Million for Climate Resiliency Projects

CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif. – Sacramento-area water providers have been awarded $8.74 million in state grants to advance 11 projects to build water reliability in the Sacramento region, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has announced.

Part of DWR’s Proposition 1 Integrated Regional Water Management Implementation Grant Program, funding will be used for projects designed to help the region adapt to the projected effects of climate change and enhance water efficiency.

With climate change, regional temperatures are projected to increase 4 to 7 degrees by 2070, precipitation will fall as rain rather than snow, and snowmelt runoff will peak earlier in season, according to the 2020 American River Basin Study (ARBS). This will have significant impacts on water supply and flood management in the region.

“We appreciate DWR’s partnership in helping to advance water resiliency in the Sacramento region,” said Jim Peifer, executive director for the Regional Water Authority and Sacramento Groundwater Authority. “Local water providers have long been preparing to address the impacts of climate change on our watershed. Our portfolio of projects re-imagines how water should be managed from its mountain origins to the groundwater basin below the region’s urban core. With a holistic approach, and working in partnership as a region and with the state, climate challenges can be solved.”

Local water managers have identified a comprehensive Water Resilience Portfolio with a suite of solutions that will allow the region to adapt. Central to the portfolio is the Sacramento Regional Water Bank, an innovative groundwater storage program to improve water supply reliability and environmental conditions for the Sacramento region.

The Water Bank utilizes a groundwater reservoir with about two times the storage space as Folsom Lake and will allow the region to capture and store excess water during wet years while providing an additional groundwater supply during dry years. This will be critical in the future as wet years are projected to decrease from two of every three years to only one in every three years, according to the ARBS.

DWR grant funds will help the region advance the Water Bank and the Resilience Portfolio. Specifically, this round of funding will advance the implementation of infrastructure for the Water Bank and improve the efficiency of water delivery and use.

“These grants will support agencies and projects to continue local momentum in creating a more diverse water supply portfolio, strengthening partnerships and addressing climate change,” DWR Director Karla Nemeth said in a press release.

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 about regional water reliability projects, including the Sacramento Regional Water Bank, at rwah2o.org.