Water Security



EDWA is focused on ensuring El Dorado County has a sustainable water supply as our region faces an uncertain water future. We provide water supply and demand gap analyses and identify ways to increase or enhance water supply development and drought protection and response. We are also focused on strategies to develop stormwater as a resource, bolster flood management, and protect water quality. All of this is critical to ensuring safe, sustainable, and reliable countywide water supplies to benefit livelihoods, ecosystems, and the local economy.

Water Security Activities

EDWA led the development of the West Slope Stormwater Resource Plan in close collaboration with the County of El Dorado and the City of Placerville. The plan is tailored to address the unique conditions of the western portion of El Dorado County, a mostly rural agricultural area in the foothills where management of stormwater resources continues to be very different from that in an urban setting on flat land. EDWA continues to work with the county and City of Placerville to support implementation of the plan.

The Tahoe Resource Conservation District developed the Stormwater Resource Plan for the Tahoe-Sierra Region. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board are regional government agencies who are involved in regulating and overseeing the implementation of stormwater programs or projects by local jurisdictions or permittees. They, along with various other entities, provide guidance and support implementation of the stormwater plan.

Water demands in El Dorado County, specifically agricultural needs, are projected to grow in the coming years. EDWA is working to secure up to 40,000 acre-feet per year of additional water to improve water reliability and drought resiliency so El Dorado County can support the planned growth in the El Dorado County General Plan. This additional water supply is especially critical to meet the needs of users not represented by water purveyors and support the county’s growing agricultural economy. This factsheet describes the potential for expanding agricultural economic activities and the water needed to support this development. 

Located in El Dorado County between the Sierra Nevada ridge and City of Placerville, Alder Creek Reservoir would be a 168,000 acre-feet high-elevation, off-stream storage project. Alder Creek would help adapt to changing climate conditions and population growth by replacing lost storage from reduced snowpack and capturing earlier snowmelt to improve water supply reliability in the foothills and Central Valley Project water supply from Folsom Reservoir. The project was identified as an important climate adaptation portfolio in the American River Basin Study as it addresses the unique vulnerabilities faced by foothill communities that have no meaningful groundwater resources. The project provides water supply reliability, flood risk management, recreation, hydropower, and fish and wildlife protection benefits.

EDWA is developing the Upper American River Basin Regional Drought Contingency Plan in collaboration with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Tribes, public water purveyors, land use agencies, and environmental interests in the West Slope of El Dorado County. The plan will improve long-term water resiliency to drought and expand mitigation planning to areas outside of public water purveyor service areas.