Taking a long view of water supply

EBMUD was born out of thirst, created 100 years ago to secure a reliable, high-quality water supply for the burgeoning East Bay.

By the time the newly constructed Pardee Reservoir and Mokelumne Aqueduct delivered the first snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada foothills in June 1929, East Bay reservoirs had dwindled to critically shallow pools, full of silt, holding only three weeks’ worth of water.

EBMUD’s leaders understood from the beginning that providing enough water to support a growing community requires ingenuity, foresight and the ability to adapt. We must plan for today – and for what our children and grandchildren will need in the future.

Climate change is driving the aridification of the American West, and we’re adapting to bigger swings between severe droughts and intense storms. With foresight, EBMUD has invested nearly $900 million over the past half century to diversify its water sources and increase water supplies. Although the Mokelumne River remains our primary source, our portfolio now includes:

  • a robust water conservation program
  • supplemental supplies from the Sacramento River
  • recycled water used for irrigation and industrial cooling
  • a groundwater pilot project
  • exploration of additional storage capacity in Los Vaqueros Reservoir

EBMUD is also improving operations and efficiency with advanced water supply forecasting, leak-detection technology, and earthquake-resistant pipes monitored with smart sensors.

This winter’s rain and snow are filling reservoirs and providing welcome drought relief. But we must continue to take the long view. You can count on EBMUD to manage water supplies strategically and help you make smart water choices, every day.

For an update on EBMUD’s water supply, visit ebmud.com/watersupply.