ACWA Member Efforts

  • Jun 1, 2017

Protecting Water at its Source

Here are some examples of innovative projects and collaborative efforts by ACWA members to protect and restore California’s headwaters:

Tree Mortality Task Force Efforts in Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties

Both the Calaveras County Water District and Tuolumne Utilities District are active members of the Tree Mortality Task Forces in their respective counties.  CCWD is actively surveying the properties it owns to identify trees killed by beetles that threaten district facilities and working to educates landowners about bark beetle infestation and ways to help finance tree removal on private property. TUD also is working with partnering agencies to remove hazardous adjacent to its facilities and along its ditch system and is working with Tuolumne County staff to continue to mitigating the threat of dead and dying trees.

Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority Forest First Program

As home to the headwaters of the Santa Ana River, the San Bernardino and Cleveland national forests encompass approximately 33% of the Santa Ana watershed’s land mass. These forest areas also receive 90% of the watershed’s annual precipitation. The Forest First program is envisioned as a collaborative venture between the Forest Service and downstream stakeholders focused on ensuring the national forests within the Santa Ana watershed are kept as healthy as possible and continue to provide high-quality water to the valleys below. The effort underscores the forests’ vital significance to the overall health and continued sustainability of water resources within the watershed. The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority and the Forest Service have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that is the first step to integrating forest management practices with interests of downstream water users.

San Diego IRWMP – Reservoir Source Protection and Restoration

San Vicente Dam, owned by the City of San Diego, was raised by the San Diego County Water Authority as part of its Emergency Storage Project. The dam raise doubled the capacity of San Vicente Reservoir, the keystone facility of the San Diego region’s water supply infrastructure. To ensure an adequate source water protection buffer is in place to protect water quality, the city, SDCWA, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Diego Gas and Electric, and other partners have collaborated to advance San Vicente Reservoir source water protection through the Watershed Property Acquisition and Restoration Project, which acquires into preserve status lands surrounding the reservoir and along San Vicente Creek, the major tributary stream. These collaborative efforts prevent further water quality degradation that might come from development, agricultural uses, or other general disturbance of the watershed lands. The acquisitions also will help prevent future development of several parcels, enhancing watershed function and reducing potential sources of contamination.

ACWA / California Forest Watershed Alliance Video

The California Forest Watershed Alliance, in partnership with ACWA, produced this video to educate the public on headwaters issues. The video explores the impact uncontrolled wildfires have on water quality, and includes an interview with Placer County Water Agency about the impacts of the 2014 King Fire.


Want to add your ACWA member agency’s project to this list? Please contact Emily Allshouse at (916) 441-4545.