EBMUD board approves revised WSMP 2040

The East Bay Municipal Utility District Board of Directors unanimously approved a revised Water Supply Management Program (WSMP) 2040 that outlines how the District plans to provide water for the next three decades and omits the controversial Enlarge Pardee Reservoir alternative.

The District’s WSMP 2040 is a long-term planning effort intended to ensure the District can supply high quality water to its customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties during droughts. The plan lists a number of strategies to secure adequate water supplies with a strong emphasis on increased conservation and recycling to reduce customer demand. The plan also includes a variety of supplemental supply options that could be explored in the future, including water transfers, groundwater storage, desalination and regional surface storage.

The initial WSMP 2040 was challenged in court by opponents of the alternative to consider enlarging Pardee Reservoir, which supplies 90 percent of the District’s current water supply. A subsequent court order required the District do further study on several aspects of the plan that related to expanding the reservoir. One area of further study noted was to look at partnering with neighboring Contra Costa Water District in expanding its Los Vaqueros Reservoir as a supply option.

After further consideration, District staff concluded expanding Los Vaqueros Reservoir is a potential supply option. In addition, the Enlarge Pardee Reservoir regional project alternative clearly lacked the community support EBMUD’s Board required. The revised plan uses a different set of future supply options to meet dry-year water needs up to 2040.

“This process worked,” said John A. Coleman, EBMUD board president, “we listened, we heard and we acted. It has always been our intent to do the right thing for our customers and partners to get the best use possible out of this precious resource. Together, we will continue to work cooperatively as a region to solve other tough problems ahead.”