Lower Yuba River Accord
The award-winning Lower Yuba River Accord (Yuba Accord) was implemented as a pilot program in 2006 and 2007, and fully implemented in 2008. Since that time, the Yuba Accord has resulted in significant benefits for California. Today, there are higher instream flow requirements for salmon and steelhead on the Lower Yuba River, an average of over 100,000 acre-feet of water transferred for fish and wildlife in the Bay-Delta estuary and for cities and farms throughout the State, and water rights protections for local farmers in Yuba County, who produce wholesome rice, peaches and plums, and other crops, on 85,000 acres of land.
The Yuba Accord is a model settlement agreement, providing meaningful benefits for fish and wildlife purposes and water supply reliability for irrigation, hydropower generation and recreation.
The Three Agreements
The Yuba Accord contains three major agreements and one with PG&E:
Conjunctive Use Agreements (7)
- Conjunctive Use – Brophy
- Conjunctive Use – BVID
- Conjunctive Use – Dry Creek
- Conjunctive Use – Hallwood
- Conjunctive Use – Rameriz
- Conjunctive Use – SYWD
- Conjunctive Use – WWD
The Fisheries Agreement, developed by local, state, and federal fisheries biologists, advocates, and policy representatives, established higher minimum instream flows during specified periods of the year. To provide these flows, YCWA implements the Conjunctive Use Agreements, which established a comprehensive conjunctive use program that integrates surface water and groundwater supplies with irrigation districts/mutual water companies YCWA serves in Yuba County.
Under the Water Purchase Agreement, the California Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation entered into a long-term agreement to purchase water from YCWA to improve reliability for the State Water Project and Central Valley Project, including for fish and wildlife purposes, and to contribute to long-term EWA security.
The Yuba Accord’s instream flows may be modified when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues a new long-term Federal Power Act license to YCWA for the Yuba Project during or after 2016.
The Yuba Accord is a major fisheries accomplishment for the State of California. It resulted in higher minimum instream flows on the lower Yuba River, funding for fisheries studies and restoration activities, enhance water supply reliability in Yuba County, and establish the first long-term acquisition of water for the EWA. By concluding over 20 years of litigation, the Yuba Accord represents a remarkable shift from controversy to consensus on the lower Yuba River.
- Improving Fisheries Habitat in California’s Lower Yuba River
- Christian Science Monitor Article – Yuba River Accord
- The Lower Yuba Accord - From Controversy To Consensus
- Lower Yuba River Accord - Description
- The Proposed Lower Yuba River Accord: A Collaborative Settlement Initiative
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Extensive Public Involvement and Next Steps
- Water Purchase Agreement Technical Brief
- Conjunctive Use Agreements Technical Brief
- Signed YCWA/CDFG Letter Agreement regarding South Yuba River Diversion and Fish Screen
- California Department of Fish and Game, 04/21/05 Press Release