Bayside Groundwater Project
The Bayside Groundwater Project is one of several future water supply projects that will help protect EBMUD's 1.3 million customers against severe water rationing in the event of a prolonged drought. In wet years, water would be stored in a deep underground aquifer; then extracted, treated and distributed to customers during drought.
The aquifers far beneath San Leandro and San Lorenzo were chosen as project sites after much exploration. Since the early 1900's, these aquifers have provided drinking water for much of the area.
Workplan and Schedule
The Bayside Groundwater Project began with completion of environmental review, Board approval, planning and construction. Testing was completed at the end of the first year of operation of the Phase 1 facility. This facility can store 1 million gallons of water during wet years and deliver, during drought, 1 million gallons a day (mgd) of water in dry years. Planning began in 2001; the Environmental Impact Report was approved by the EBMUD Board of Directors in November 2005; and the project's construction was completed in 2009.
After successfully operating the project for some time, EBMUD will consider a larger project in the area that would have a storage capacity of 2 to 10 mgd, providing even greater drought protection. The larger project would first be subjected to the same environmental and public review as the first project, and EBMUD will review results of the groundwater monitoring system and "Extensometer", which measures minute changes in ground surface elevation.
The Bayside Groundwater Project is but one of many ways EBMUD explores bringing greater water supply reliability to the District's ratepayers during drought, emergency, or for everyday needs.
Tom Francis, Senior Civil Engineer, Water Supply Improvements Division