About: legislation

Advocacy and Regional Planning for Our Wholesale and Retail Customers

We partner with our wholesale agency representatives on regional and statewide water planning efforts. Our top priorities are to protect your immediate and future water supplies, ensure cost-effective programs and services and balance our water supply needs with those of the environment.

We’re committed to keeping you informed as state lawmakers, policy makers and water industry experts plan for California’s long-term water supplies. We encourage you to stay informed, get involved and share your input about water plans and decisions that impact you.

The San Juan Water District’s board of directors adopted three formal issue statements identifying their position on critical issues facing the district. Please click on each topic to learn more about Folsom Lake water levels, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan or water rights.

San Juan Wholesale and Retail Issues

New Delta Flow Standards May Pose Serious Risks for Water Rights and Region

How much water from our rivers is needed to restore the ecosystem in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers’ Delta and San Francisco Bay? This is what the State Water Resources Control Board is determining as they plan for the Delta’s new flow standards. If the board approves a Bay-Delta solution requiring higher instream flows, we’ll all be affected and it won’t be good.

Regional Collaboration Makes Sense for Better Water Management

Chances are, if you don’t follow water issues, the term “conjunctive use” means nothing to you. But it should. With a growing population, drought is a reality and our water supplies are limited. Conjunctive use is a critical water management tool. It will keep your water flowing during shortages.

More Time to Influence Water Policy to Benefit Our Customers

San Juan Water District and other Northern California water agencies are concerned about reliable water supplies for their customers. San Juan’s Board of Directors voted to oppose an $11 billion water bond in 2009. The bond would fund undefined projects that offer no statewide benefits.

The bond is now postponed until 2014. This provides more time for a better definition of what will be funded before the bond reaches voters.

Draft Delta Solution Not Good Enough

The Delta Stewardship Council, charged with adopting a plan to restore the Delta's ecosystem and improve statewide water-supply reliability, is moving forward with a draft plan that would substantially impact San Juan’s wholesale and retail customers by:

  • Reducing the amount of surface water San Juan can use.
  • Significantly increasing our costs and customer rates by requiring San Juan to pay fees to state agencies to support statewide programs to restore the Delta's environmental resources.
  • Combining San Juan into a huge regional jurisdiction of dissimilar water agencies under the control of the Delta Stewardship Council.

Call to Action

The Council should not adopt a plan that results in unfair impacts to San Juan and similar water districts.

We encourage our retail customers and those served by our wholesale customers to send letters to their state legislators and the Delta Stewardship Council to express dissatisfaction with the current plan. When enough people speak up, our state representatives will need to look more critically at the Delta Stewardship Council’s proposed solution and find a plan that is fair to upstream water users like San Juan.

Click here for a draft letter you can send.
- Add your own thoughts or edit the contents of the letter as much or as little as you like.
- Make sure to add your name or signature to the bottom.
- Copy and paste the text into the body of an email or print out and mail to the address listed at the top.

The Delta and the Delta Plan

Background

California's Delta is located where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers flow together, southwest of Sacramento. The Delta is very critical for statewide water supply because the pumps that send water to the San Joaquin Valley and southern California draw water from the Delta. San Juan is affected by decisions relating to the Delta because water released from Folsom Lake feeds the American River, which ultimately feeds the Delta.

After 2000, the populations of fish that depend on the Delta, like Delta smelt and salmon, seriously declined. These declines triggered many lawsuits as well as reductions in the amounts of water sent to the San Joaquin Valley and southern California. They also  generated a great deal of discussion about requiring increased water flows from rivers like the American River that are upstream of the Delta and proposals for new fees on water suppliers to fund new state agencies even though there is no benefit to Northern California water agencies.

In the 1950s, northern California made a deal with southern California to let them use our water. However, that deal clearly states that northern California gets to use its local water to meet its local demands first. There are advantages to living in Northern California, close to the source of the water that comes out of your tap. San Juan has always had – and should always have – enough water to serve its residents at a reasonable cost.

2009 Legislation—20x2020

In 2009, the Legislature adopted a package of water laws in response to the Delta's problems. One of those laws requires San Juan and other agencies to reduce their per capita water use by 20% by 2020. Another 2009 law established a relatively new state agency, the Delta Stewardship Council, to create a Delta Plan that would establish a path for the state to achieve the co-equal goals of restoring the Delta's ecosystem and improving statewide water-supply reliability.

San Juan's Key Concerns

The Delta Stewardship Council has published a draft Delta Plan that will likely be the basis of the environmental review the Council must conduct before adopting a final Delta Plan later this year. Parts of the plan undermine San Juan's ability to deliver reliable, high-quality water at a reasonable cost to customers.

  • Strict and vague limits on our local water supply use. The current draft allows the State Water Resources Control Board to prevent water suppliers from using more of their local water until they have implemented "all other feasible water supply alternatives." This could require San Juan to implement even more water conservation or very expensive projects like delivering recycled water or groundwater, which would have to be pumped uphill many miles, before using water out of Folsom Lake.
  • New fees. The draft plan recommends the California legislature give the unelected Delta Stewardship Council the power to assess fees against water suppliers, like San Juan, to fund new bureaucracies, such as the Council. Those fees would increase San Juan's rates while producing little or no benefit for San Juan's customers.
  • Increased and excessive state control. A map, included in the draft plan, shows the plan will affect an area extending far beyond the Delta to include almost 2/3 of California from Oregon to Mexico. The Delta Stewardship Council should not have a jurisdiction that stretches from the Oregon border to Mexico.