MWD partners with Southern Nevada Water Authority to boost available water supplies
This year, Southern California will have access to a portion of Nevada's Colorado River water in an effort to boost available water supplies and reduce draws on the Southland's water reserves in this record drought.
LOS ANGELES, CA, Sept. 24, 2015 -- This year, Southern California will have access to a portion of Nevada's Colorado River water in an effort to boost available water supplies and reduce draws on the Southland's water reserves in this record drought.
Under a groundbreaking interstate storage agreement recently authorized by Metropolitan Water District's (MWD) Board of Directors, the District will pay the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) nearly $45 million for access to 150,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water apportioned but not used by SNWA.
With the supply increase, MWD this year will deliver a full Colorado River Aqueduct of 1.2 million acre-feet, the most in more than 10 years. The District will return the water when Nevada needs it, which is likely to be at least a decade from now.
MWD General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger explained that these recent actions carry on the long-standing spirit of cooperation the District has forged with SNWA. "The timing couldn't be better," he said. "Not only will these additional Colorado River deliveries provide much-needed supplies this year, they also will allow us to keep more water in reserve should this drought continue."
In future years, upon SNWA's request, MWD will return up to 125,000 acre-feet, with the Authority reimbursing the District for the costs paid by the Southern California agency. (An acre-foot of water is nearly 326,000 gallons -- about the amount used by two typical Southland households in a year.)
In 2004, MWD and SNWA entered into a cooperative storage and interstate release agreement allowing water banking between the two organizations. Since that initial agreement, the two large Western urban agencies have formed a cooperative, active partnership focusing on mutually beneficial programs.
"This latest program fashions an innovative way for the agencies to share water supply and cash flow, which serve the needs of both agencies today and into the future," Kightlinger said.