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.
See current imported water supply conditions.
Colorado River Aqueduct Virtual Reality Tour & Historical Map
Watch a virtual reality video of the Colorado River Aqueduct System and learn how water travels to Southern California.
** The video will correctly display on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge web browsers, and the YouTube app on smart phones. Be sure to use your VR glasses or headset**
(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 California WaterFix
What is CA WaterFix?
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is where California’s two largest rivers meet, an area where saltwater from the Pacific mingles with freshwater from the rivers. The 738,000-acre Delta is a complex web of waterways, sloughs, canals and islands. It also is the linchpin in the State Water Project, the system that supplies drinking water to more than 25 million Californians and approximately 45 percent of the fruits and vegetables produced in the United States. About 30 percent of Southern California’s water comes from the State Water Project, the largest state-built water and power system in the nation.
The California Natural Resources Agency has been working with state and federal agencies since 2006 on a plan to secure California’s water supplies and improve the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta’s (Delta) ecosystem. In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown announced a major change for the project formerly known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). The lead state and federal agencies shifted their focus from a habitat conservation plan to permitting, design, and construction of a Delta conveyance facility (California WaterFix), with the majority of ecosystem restoration work now occurring under a separate program, California EcoRestore. California WaterFix maintains the co-equal goals of increasing statewide water supply reliability and, in coordination with California EcoRestore, facilitating increased habitat restoration in the Delta. Although much work remains to reach final project approval, an unprecedented level of public review, comment, and scientific input has helped refine and improve California WaterFix. Learn more about California Water Fix…