Folsom Launches “Water Vision” Project: A 50-Year Plan to Secure Water Supply and Address Climate Change

The city of Folsom is embarking on the most ambitious water planning effort in its history.

The city of Folsom is embarking on the most ambitious water planning effort in its history, an effort aimed both at expanding the city’s water supply options and adapting to climate change.

Known as Folsom Water Vision, the project kicks off this month with a first public meeting on Tuesday, February 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Folsom Police Department Training Room, 46 Natoma St. in Folsom.

Marcus Yasutake, Folsom’s environmental and water resources director, said Water Vision aims to plan the city’s water needs for the next 50 years.

He said the program is very much in line with the coequal goals of the Water Forum: securing the region’s water supply and protecting the environment of the Lower American River. Jessica Law, executive director of the Water Forum, is a member of the stakeholder group participating in the Water Vision, and the city of Folsom is a member of the forum’s Water Caucus.

Folsom is almost entirely dependent on American River water delivered from Folsom Reservoir, provided under contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Recent severe droughts have shown this supply may be vulnerable if the reservoir shrinks below existing outlets in Folsom Dam.

“What would happen if lake levels got so low that the inlet wasn’t available?” Yasutake said. “Would we be able to potentially receive treated groundwater from a neighboring water agency? That’s one of the options for expanding the city’s water portfolio.”

Another opportunity could include joining the Sacramento Regional Water Bank, a groundwater storage project overseen by the Regional Water Authority. Folsom could create a way to add some of its American River water supply to the Water Bank during times of surplus, then draw it back out during droughts, helping the city and reducing strain on the river during shortages.

Yasutake said Folsom wants lots of input from residents and business owners — not just their water supply ideas but also their water quality needs. He also hopes to hear what level of rate increases they might find acceptable to secure their water supply for the next 50 years.

Folsom aims to complete the Water Vision by mid-2025, and then submit options to the City Council for action.

For more information on Water Vision, contact Marcus Yasutake by phone at (916) 461-6161 or email at or visit the project website here.