Roseville creek

California’s water balancing act

Roseville, CA- Increasingly, water management in California is a balancing act where solutions must knit together the needs of people, industry, farming, species and the environment.

Managing water to benefit these multiple uses is hard enough if water was a stationary resource – but it’s not. Especially during the winter months, water managers confront complex decisions about when and where water is released from reservoirs for winter flood protection as well as environmental flows and supply needs throughout the year.

This past spring, we began capturing surplus water from Folsom Reservoir through our contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Central Valley Project. With massive amounts of snowpack and a steady flow of winter and spring storms, Folsom operators were releasing vast sums of water from the reservoir to ensure sufficient flood control capacity.

Instead of allowing this water to spill out to the Pacific Ocean, we took delivery of 952-acre-feet of water (about 310 million gallons) from Folsom Reservoir to replenish the aquifer that lies beneath the city.

What is 952 acre feet?

  • Filling 470 Olympic-sized pools
  • Enough water to fill Levi’s Stadium with 22 feet of water
  • Supplying water to service about 1,900 households for a year

We’ve been installing groundwater wells to do both replenishment and extraction for more than a decade, and this year was a major proof point of our water supply investment efforts.

For Roseville, using Folsom Reservoir water to replenish the groundwater basin provides multiple benefits: capturing water that would have been unnecessarily spilled to the ocean, banking water like a savings account for future uses, helping to ensure a healthy groundwater basin as required by state law and alleviating pressure on overall water supply during droughts.

In our area we are accustomed to managing water for multiple beneficial uses. Our vision for and investment in diversifying water supply sources continues that tradition and helps put Roseville – and our region – on the leading edge of smart and sustainable water management in the future.