Water Supply

Providing reliable surface water supplies to local farms and ranches is one of the primary reasons the Yuba County Water Agency (YCWA) exists.

Each year, YCWA supplies about 300,000 acre-feet of water to eight local water districts, known as the “member units.” Those districts, which convey water supplies to Yuba County farmers and ranchers, include: Brophy Water District, Browns Valley Irrigation District, Cordua Irrigation District, Dry Creek Mutual Water Company, Hallwood Irrigation Company, Ramirez Water District, South Yuba Water District, and Wheatland Water District.

These districts supply 60,000 acres of productive farmland with water, enabling farmers to raise rice, peaches, plums and other crops. Crops and livestock are an important source of jobs and income for many Yuba County workers and families. In 2014, agricultural production reached nearly $277 million in Yuba County, a new record.

YCWA’s surface water deliveries have also recharged the groundwater aquifer. This is especially evident in the south county where in some areas groundwater levels have recovered by about 100 feet, and have reached near-historic levels. YCWA is proud of its stewardship of the local aquifer because these supplies are essentially the sole water source for all local municipal water purveyors.

Additionally, the Agency has voluntarily transferred water to cities, farms and for environmental purposes, all over the State of California. These supplies help to meet some of California’s water needs, especially during severe drought periods. And the revenue from these transfers helps YCWA to strengthen levees, improve salmon and steelhead habitat in the Yuba River, and meet other needs in Yuba County.

Water supplies from YCWA also benefit wildlife. Following the rice harvest, YCWA provides water so farmers can flood their fields again, helping to decompose rice straw, and in the process create invaluable seasonal habitat for hundreds of species of waterfowl, shorebirds and other fish and wildlife.