Funding Policies Promote Regional Solutions

The District Governing Board recently adopted policies to ensure that District funding is spent on water supply projects that are consistent with regional water supply goals and provide relief to stressed groundwater sources.

In two separate decisions, the Governing Board detailed District funding requirements for water supply projects within water supply authority service areas and reaffirmed that it will not fund the construction of brackish groundwater supply projects.

The Board established a policy for funding water supply projects within water supply authority service areas. The policy contains two components — one for funding requests from local governments who are members or customers of a water supply authority, and another for local governments who are not members but are within the water supply authority’s service area.

To be eligible for District funding, water supply projects for local governments who are members or customers of a water supply authority must be submitted through the authority and the authority must retain some element of ownership and control. Nonmember local governments who are within the service area of an authority must get a written statement from the authority ensuring that the project is compatible with the authority’s regional plans.

The District has limited funds and numerous requests for funding. This policy clarifies the District’s funding priorities and enables District funding to support regional solutions to regional water supply problems.

Brackish ground water is defined as water that does not meet drinking water standards for dissolved solids but is not as salty as seawater. The District has historically funded feasibility studies for brackish groundwater projects because the data gathered by those studies provide the District with a better understanding of local aquifer conditions.

However, the District has not funded construction of brackish groundwater projects. Although the quality of the water is brackish, it comes from the same aquifers that are stressed from too much pumping. District funding has been used to develop alternative sources to ground water to reduce the demands on the stressed aquifers.

The Governing Board reaffirmed this funding eligibility criteria.

These policies address only District funding and are not connected to permitting.