The California Water Commission (Commission) recently announced that Regional San will receive $280.5 million—the maximum requested funding amount—in Proposition 1 grant funding to help make the South County Ag Program a reality for the Sacramento region.
The South County Ag Program will deliver highly treated recycled water for agricultural irrigation in the southern portion of Sacramento County, reducing the need for groundwater pumping. Among the eight proposed water storage projects recently considered by the Commission, the South County Ag Program ranked second overall.
“We are thrilled that the South County Ag Program ranked so highly in this very rigorous and competitive review process,” said Prabhakar Somavarapu, district engineer for Regional San. “Using recycled water for crop irrigation, in-lieu groundwater recharge, habitat restoration, industrial uses and other beneficial uses is the way of the future.”
The South County Ag Program will provide up to 50,000 acre-feet per year of recycled water to irrigate up to 16,000 acres of agricultural land. This Program has multiple benefits that will help restore flows to the Cosumnes River in the southern portion of Sacramento County by recharging the groundwater basin and raising groundwater levels up to 30 feet.
“Regional San takes its commitment to environmental stewardship very seriously,” said Somavarapu. “Contributing to a sustainable environment for future generations is a critical part of why we do what we do.”
Next steps include continuing planning efforts with local farmers and beginning preliminary designs for transmission and distribution systems to convey recycled water from the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant near Elk Grove.
Proposition 1—the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act—was approved by more than two-thirds of California voters in 2014 and dedicates $2.7 billion to California’s Water Storage Investment Program. Funds allocated under Proposition 1 must be used to achieve five public benefits: ecosystem improvements, water quality improvements, flood control, emergency response, and recreation.
Learn more about the South County Ag Program at regionalsan.com/SoCoAg.