Chairman’s Update #12
Since the Yuba County Water Agency’s establishment in 1959, protecting and enhancing Yuba County’s groundwater aquifer has been one of our foremost priorities.
We work cooperatively with our eight irrigation districts, known as the Member Units, to manage groundwater resources in the north and south Yuba subbasins.
Because of the Agency’s careful stewardship of groundwater resources and supplementation with surface water to correct previous over-drafting of the aquifer, the groundwater basin in Yuba County has recovered to historic levels and continues to remain within that range.
The use of surface water supplies from New Bullards Bar Reservoir has led to the restoration of a sustainable aquifer, which is vitally important because groundwater in the sole source of municipal water for 80 percent of the county’s population.
Since YCWA began using surface water to supplement groundwater usage for irrigation, groundwater levels have risen significantly.
During the most-recent drought, farmers made up for shortages of surface water by pumping groundwater. Groundwater levels dropped, but still remained within the historical range without reaching dangerously low levels. And despite the surface water shortages and declining groundwater levels, Yuba County did not lose any irrigated acreage as a result of the drought.
In cooperation with California’s Department of Water Resources, the Agency monitors groundwater levels, measures quality, conducts studies, and utilizes groundwater as a resource for the benefit of the county and state.
Additionally, we have taken all of the necessary steps to be recognized as a groundwater sustainability agency for Yuba County.
Surface water and groundwater conjunctive management is at the core of our commitment to resource management. Proper groundwater management helps provide a buffer against drought and climate change, and contributes to a reliable water supply regardless of weather patterns.
-Brent Hastey, YCWA Board Chairman