Ground Water Canada

Features Environment Water Issues
Landmark agreement struck for Calif. ground water storage during drought, emergencies


December 22, 2014
By Ground Water Canada

Topics

Dec. 22, 2014, San Francisco, CA – A landmark agreement between the San
Francisco Public Utilities Commission and three San Mateo County organizations
was finalized and signed Dec. 16 to ensure long-term management and
sustainability of the South Westside Groundwater Basin.

Dec. 22, 2014, San Francisco, CA – A landmark agreement between the San
Francisco Public Utilities Commission and three San Mateo County organizations
was finalized and signed Dec. 16 to ensure long-term management and
sustainability of the South Westside Groundwater Basin.

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The basin, which stretches from San Francisco to Burlingame,
Calif. has the capacity to store 20 billion gallons of ground water in a
regional water “savings account” to protect against future drought and
earthquake.

“As we continue confronting the worst drought in California
history, it is essential that we sustain our efforts to implement water
resiliency projects for the future. Together with other Bay Area cities and
agencies, we’re working to ensure that we save every drop of water in order to
protect our region during times of drought or an earthquake,” said San
Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, in a news release.

The $113 million Regional Groundwater Storage and Recovery
project is a partnership between the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
(SFPUC), City of Daly City, City of San Bruno and California Water Service
Company. During years of normal or heavy rainfall, the project will provide
additional surface water to the partner agencies in San Mateo County in order
to reduce the amount of ground water pumped from the South Westside Groundwater
Basin. Over time, the reduced pumping will create a ground water savings
account of up to 60,500 acre-feet of water or 20 billion gallons — a volume
equivalent to that of the SFPUC’s Crystal Springs Reservoir.

The partner county agencies currently provide
drinking water from two sources, local ground water from the South Westside
Groundwater Basin and surface water supplies from the Hetch Hetchy Regional
Water System.

The ground water supply project has completed environmental
review and is moving forward to construction in 2015. Once completed in 2018,
this project, through 16 new recovery wells, stations, pumps and pipelines
constructed in the Peninsula will provide 7.2 million gallons of water per day
benefitting the 2.6 million people in the Bay Area who rely on the Hetch Hetchy
Regional Water System.

“The signing of this agreement is a significant achievement
toward diversifying local water supplies in the Peninsula region. This
operating agreement has been a long time coming and San Bruno is pleased to be
part of this effort that meets the public’s belief that agencies come together
to develop solutions that benefit the communities we serve,” said Connie
Jackson, city manager of San Bruno.