Upper District is a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) which operates the Colorado River Aqueduct and represents Southern California’s stake in the State Water Project that brings water south from Northern California.
Upper District’s Board of Directors appoint a representative who sits as a member of MWD’s governing board. Besides Upper District, MWD has 25 other member agencies spanning Southern California’s coastal plain from Ventura to the Mexican border including 14 cities, 11 municipal water districts (like Upper District), and one county water authority (San Diego).
Upper District is thus actively engaged in the federal, state and local governmental arenas with respect to water policy and legislation. Most of the water imported into Upper District’s service area is used to replenish the Main San Gabriel groundwater basin.
A smaller percentage is purchased by city water departments and private water utilities to sell directly to customers. The major policy issues involving imported water include disputes over supply and financial obligations to mitigate environmental impacts in the sensitive Bay-Delta and Colorado River Basin. Water quality regulations are also having a greater impact on the cost of water that will eventually get passed along to rate payers. Overall, the price of imported water used to replenish the local groundwater basin has more than doubled since 2005.
Colorado River Aqueduct Historical Map
(Click Map to view larger)
This historical illustrated style map of Southern California shows the Colorado River Aqueduct and its sources. In the east, Boulder Dam and Parker Dam are shown, along with various tunnels, pump stations and reservoirs, with the origin of the water in the Colorado River. The line of the Acqueduct is then shown winding through the Coachella Valley, over the San Bernardino Mountains and finally to the Inland Empire and Los Angeles Basin, via Lake Mathews. The map also shows several cities around the reservoir at left, while the tunnels, reservoirs, and pumps along the aqueduct are labeled as well. A depiction of the profile of the aqueduct suns along the bottom of the image, while an inset map of the United States in the upper left corner shows the location of the aqueduct.
Overview of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan
What is the BDCP?
The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is a part of California’s overall water management portfolio. It is being developed as a 50-year habitat conservation plan with the goals of restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem and securing California water supplies. The BDCP would secure California’s water supply by building new water delivery infrastructure and operating the system to improve the ecological health of the Delta. The BDCP also would restore or protect approximately 145,000 acres of habitat to address the Delta’s environmental challenges.
The BDCP is made up of specific actions, called Conservation Measures, to improve the Delta ecosystem. The BDCP includes 22 conservation measures aimed at improving water operations, protecting water supplies and water quality, and restoring the Delta ecosystem within a stable regulatory framework. As the Delta ecosystem improves in response to the implementation of the conservation measures, water operations would become more reliable, offering secure water supplies for 25 million Californians, an agricultural industry that feeds millions, and a thriving economy.