North Fork American River
North Fork of the American River

Regional collaboration benefits Placer residents

Guest Post by: PCWA Board President Robert Dugan and Roseville Mayor John B. Allard II

Roseville, CA- Regional collaboration on water supply reliability is nothing new for us in south Placer County. For years, our respective agencies have been aligned in delivering reliable, affordable and sustainable water for our communities.

For the City of Roseville (Roseville) and Placer County Water Agency (PCWA), the partnership goes back to the construction of the Middle Fork Project, a locally-controlled system of reservoirs and powerhouses upstream of Folsom Lake on the American River that continues to benefit all of Placer County.

As part of the construction of the Middle Fork Project, Roseville and PCWA reached an agreement with the United States Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to augment our Middle Fork Project supplies with Central Valley Project (CVP) contract water from Folsom Lake.

Those original CVP contracts expired a decade ago, and because of litigation, could not be renewed on a long-term basis. This resulted in a patchwork of temporary contracts, which created an unacceptable risk to our growing regional economy.

Partnership

PCWA and Roseville formed a partnership to solve the problem. After three years of intense effort in Washington D.C. on behalf of our visionary staff with the support of our elected colleagues and numerous other water agencies from across the western United States, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act was passed by Congress in 2016.

WIIN Act

The region’s lawmakers in the House of Representatives and Senate were instrumental in drafting the WIIN Act and convincing then-President Barack Obama to sign the legislation into law in 2016. The WIIN Act authorized Reclamation to not only sign our long-delayed CVP contracts, but authorized those contracts to extend in perpetuity.

Our agencies’ joint vision, partnership, and effort on the WIIN Act came to fruition on February 28, 2020 when Roseville and PCWA, along with five other regional districts and municipalities, signed our permanent indefinite term CVP contracts at the base of Folsom Dam.

PCWA contract signing

Future

The signing of these contracts ends a decade of uncertainty regarding our CVP contract supplies from Folsom Lake, and provides assurance to our economic development partners that they can rely on the very robust combination of Middle Fork Project and CVP water supplies as they plan the region’s future.

In water, as in other regional policy matters, we are stronger when we work together. This kind of cooperative effort is just one example of why Placer County continues to be the best place in California to build and grow a business and raise a family. We are thrilled to be part of the effort to keep Placer County thriving.