Yolo County is blessed with an abundant supply of ground water, and through foresight, has secured the rights to significant surface water supplies. The use of both groundwater and surface water supplies is known as conjunctive use. Conjunctive use management involves making sure that each of these resources is used to the optimum benefit with the least amount of negative environmental and economic effects.
Efficient water use is a priority for the District. Intelligent water management requires that we know exactly how the irrigation canals and adjacent sloughs behave. Questions such as how much water is lost in each canal through seepage and "spill" and how much water is returned to the delivery system from farm fields need to be answered.
Groundwater is a critical resource in Yolo County. The cities of Woodland, Davis and Winters, as well as UC Davis and many farms rely on groundwater to meet residential and agricultural water demands. Because groundwater is of such importance, the District collaborates with the cities and other entities to gather information on groundwater levels and quality.
The District is working on a massive computer simulation of the aquifer in Yolo County. Data obtained from the Groundwater Monitoring Program, among other sources will be used to create a mathematical model of the aquifer. This half million dollar project, which is funded in part by the Local Groundwater Assistance Fund through AB303, will be used for analyzing aquifer recharge and recovery on Cache Creek, and for simulating urban issues such as population growth and water supply during a drought.
In 2002, California voters passed Proposition 50, the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act. This law authorized the state legislature to appropriate funds to improve urban and agricultural water use efficiency, protect and improve drinking water quality, restore coastal habitat and other water projects. A portion of the available funds was allocated to the development of IRWMPs. The Integrated Regional Water Management Plan creates the framework for water use planning in a shared, regional approach.