Annual water allocation contract with U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
AUBURN, CA – Against the backdrop of Folsom Dam, Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) executed a landmark water contract with the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) at a signing ceremony on February 28. The new contract, which annually allocates up to 35,000 acre-feet of Central Valley Project (CVP) water to PCWA, runs in perpetuity.
The new contract replaces an original signed by both parties in 1970. That contract expired in 2011, and since then, PCWA has been operating on two-year renewal contracts.
“The signing of this contract ends nearly a decade of uncertainty and accumulating costs to our customers,” said PCWA Board Chairman Robert Dugan, who represented PCWA at the signing. “Our signature today ensures that this piece of our water portfolio is protected in perpetuity. Today is a historic day for our customers, staff, and the PCWA Board; I want to thank Bureau of Reclamation staff for making the process smooth and transparent.”
PCWA’s new contract was made possible by enactment of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, which Congress passed in 2016. The WIIN Act directs the USBR to convert water service contracts to repayment contracts upon the request of a contractor, assuming outstanding CVP construction costs are fully repaid by the contractor within three years. PCWA has no outstanding debt with the USBR, thereby meeting all its obligations.
“This CVP contract water is essential to the future prosperity of Placer County,” General Manager Andy Fecko said. “It was one of the three critical processes that secure long-term water supply reliability for our customers, along with the relicensing of our Middle Fork American River Project and the extension of our Middle Fork water rights. We are thrilled to have secured this contract.”
In addition to the new CVP contract, PCWA’s water supply includes up to 120,000 acre-feet off the Middle Fork American River, the ability to store up to 340,000 acre-feet in its reservoirs, and a long-term contract with Pacific Gas & Electric to use over 125,000 acre-feet from the Yuba River.