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EMWD Supportive of Delta Conveyance Project

EMWD Supportive of Delta Conveyance Project

August 17, 2022

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With California facing a historic drought fueled by climate change and evolving water supply challenges, it has never been more important for investments in modernized water supply infrastructure.

That was the overriding message of support provided by Eastern Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors on Wednesday during a presentation on the Delta Conveyance Project made by Jennifer Pierre, General Manager of the State Water Contractors, the nonprofit association comprised of public water agencies who work together to provide State Water Project water supplies to 27 million Californians and 750,000 acres of farmland.

The Delta Conveyance Project (Project) will modernize the state’s primary water supply and distribution system through the construction of a subterranean tunnel that will reliably move water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and provide increased water supply reliability, environmental protections, and protect water quality.

The Delta Conveyance Project does not increase the amount of water that agencies receive, but it does provide a more reliable infrastructure that will allow agencies such as The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to maximize water deliveries when water is abundant with fewer pumping restrictions. EMWD is a member agency of MWD, which has pledged its financial support to the project.

“As California continues to face new and prolonged water supply challenges, it is critical that the State and local agencies invest in water supply infrastructure that meets the needs of our new normal,” EMWD Board President Phil Paule said. “The Delta Conveyance Project does that by providing a modernized system that can move large amounts of water during wet years,  and protects water quality and the environment. EMWD is supportive of this investment to ensure our state’s future water supply reliability as we adapt to a changing climate.”

The State Water Project system helps bring water to more than 27 million Californians. Had the Delta Conveyance Project been in place in 2021, an additional 236,000 acre feet of water could have been captured – enough for approximately 850,000 households for the year.

By moving the intake facilities to the north Delta, the Project will allow for less impact on fish species in the south Delta – including the Delta Smelt – and reduce the frequency when pumps are turned off for environmental restrictions.

The Project is also a critical component for adapting to climate change and the new precipitation patterns that have resulted. The Project will be able to move up to 6,000 cubic feet of water per second. It is sized large enough to move large amounts of water during years when there is heavy rain and snow so that agencies can store surplus water so it is available during drought years.

EMWD’s Mountain Avenue West Groundwater Replenishment Facility is an example of this type of infrastructure on a local level. During years of normal or abundant rain, EMWD will purchase additional State Water Project water and let it percolate into our local groundwater basins, where it can be stored for use in dry years.

“This drought has again brought the importance of investments in our water supply infrastructure to the forefront of public conversation, and the Delta Conveyance Project is one of the most important investments we can make in our state’s water system,” Paule said. “Having access to a reliable, high-quality supply from the Delta provides benefits for all Californians. It is time that we move this project forward so our infrastructure is capable of meeting the needs of 21st century challenges.”

View the Presentation Here: Delta Conveyance Project Presentation

Eastern Municipal Water District is the water, wastewater service and recycled water provider to nearly one million people living and working within a 558-square mile service area in western Riverside County. It is California’s sixth-largest retail water agency, and its mission is “To deliver value to our diverse customers and the communities we serve by providing safe, reliable, economical and environmentally sustainable water, wastewater and recycled water services.”
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