The Calaveras County Water District Board of Directors unanimously approved water transfer policy principles at a regular board meeting Wednesday, December 9. To the District’s knowledge, no other water agency in the state has formally adopted comprehensive water transfer policy principles of this nature.

The principles will ensure that any water transfer by CCWD would advance the fundamental interests of the District in providing safe, reliable and affordable water supplies in the community for years to come. They were carefully designed to protect and preserve CCWD’s underlying water rights – some dating back to the Gold Rush – by maximizing their beneficial use and in turn improving the long-term reliability and affordability of local water supplies.

“Throughout these principles, there is an emphasis on protecting our local communities’ water supplies now and for generations to come,” said Dave Eggerton, CCWD general manager. “With water rights dating back to the 19th century, we have the ability to partner with other agencies in a responsible and sustainable manner that could be very beneficial to our customers and our region.”

While CCWD has never transferred water to another agency in its history, the District’s principles put in place a clear road map for how transfers will be evaluated and conducted in a manner that is beneficial to the local community and promotes sustainable stewardship of its natural resources.

Cecily Smith, executive director of the Foothill Conservancy, was complimentary of CCWD’s efforts, referring to them as cutting edge.

“I really do appreciate you including environmental concerns and stewardship goals as a part of your principles,” Smith said, adding the District worked hard and showed foresight in trying to set out good principles.

She also noted the Conservancy would like to see CCWD ensure protection for river areas upstream and downstream of where transfers occur as well as making sure the recipients of transferred water use it sustainably.

Eggerton emphasized the District’s commitment to being transparent and up-front regarding the principles.

“We want these principles to be lasting and set a high bar,” Eggerton said. “We will only make transfers that meet our standards, and we want to build partnerships that are beneficial to our customers, our community and our region that will last well into the future.”

Click here to read the water transfer policy principles adopted by the Board.

Written by Joel Metzger