Intertie test moves districts one step closer to joint emergency response

The Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) and the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) are conducting a test of a water system intertie that will help protect Bay Area residents during drought and other emergencies.

This intertie project between CCWD and EBMUD was initiated in 2007 and now the facilities and operation permits are in place to allow these water agencies to work cooperatively to meet customer needs for reliable water service. Under an agreement, Sacramento County Water Agency (SCWA), CCWD and EBMUD are testing the inter-regional ability to deliver water from the Sacramento River to the two million customers served by the two Bay Area water agencies.

Beginning Tuesday, February 22, water is being transported through the recently operational Freeport Regional Water Project in Sacramento County and travels west through EBMUD’s Mokelumne Aqueduct. The Freeport Regional Water Authority (FRWA) is a joint venture between EBMUD and SCWA, designed to provide a drought water supply for EBMUD customers as well as a conjunctive use water supply to meet the demands of SCWA customers and help stabilize Sacramento’s central groundwater basin. In drought years, EBMUD will be moving water from the Freeport facility through its aqueducts to San Pablo Reservoir.

CCWD and EBMUD constructed an intertie located in Brentwood to allow the transfer of water between EBMUD’s Mokelumne Aqueduct and CCWD’s conveyance facilities.

But this intertie goes both ways. The facility also will allow CCWD to supply water to EBMUD through existing intakes to the Mokelumne Aqueduct. Operations this week are testing EBMUD’s ability to move water to the Contra Costa Canal, which is operated by CCWD.

CCWD Board President, Joseph Campbell stated: “The successful operation of this intertie demonstrates how local water agencies can work together to provide a mutually beneficial facility that can serve CCWD and EBMUD customers, and provides future connection opportunities with other Bay Area water agencies”.

At EBMUD, Board President John A. Coleman also hails this approach: “We all have to work together to protect our customers and keep costs under control. This is a model for what will happen more and more in California and throughout the nation. We thank our neighbors and partners.”

And, adds FRWA Board Member, Sacramento County Supervisor Jimmie Yee: “The Freeport Regional Water Authority is a model of regional cooperation. The successful testing of the Freeport Regional Water Project completes a key milestone in an expanding pattern of partnership among water agencies to meet customer needs.”