In April 2020, Water Forum members embarked on a new journey to review and revise the historic Water Forum Agreement, signed in 2000. The original agreement, which took seven years to negotiate, will expire in 2030. For the past two years, through a global pandemic, massive societal and political change, and the emerging impacts of climate change, Water Forum members have continued their work on the negotiations—called Water Forum 2.0.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, as caucus members met frequently to develop a strong understanding of the work of the Water Forum (Foundational Work) and begin to scope out the desired outcomes, core interests, and key management questions (Phase 1). The Water Forum has four caucuses that include members from the business, environmental, public, and water sectors. The caucuses met frequently throughout the year to identify their core interests and issues statements. It is the comparison of the caucus interest statements that illuminates where there are core areas of interest in the negotiations:
- Coequal Objectives: There is strong alignment and support that the existing coequal objectives remain a solid foundation for the WF 2.0 negotiations. There are some questions about timing for confirmation of the objectives and whether they should be expanded based on the regional context and representation interests.
- Climate Change Resiliency: Climate resiliency is important to all the caucuses. There are some questions about how the science/information will be accounted for in the process. But overall, strong alignment on the importance of addressing this as a main component of the agreement.
- Regional Context and Representation: Each interest statement speaks to the Water Forum’s role in the region and the scope of the issues (e.g., groundwater, equity) and scale of engagement (e.g., geographic, diversity). The role of the Water Forum is a central theme in the negotiations and will change based on the topic.
- Integrated Long-range Planning: The interest statements raise questions about the intersection of land use planning and water planning from a regional scale. Many of the information needs are being addressed in the study plan – however there are additional interests around long-range land use and demand projections.
- Water Conservation and Efficiency: This an area of divergence. Many of the interest raise questions about cost/benefits of conservation, impacts on disadvantaged communities, and weight of pending regulations.
- Surface Water and Groundwater Conjunctive Use: This is an area that is closely linked to integrated long-range planning and climate change resiliency with an acknowledgment of the importance of conjunctive use in the region. There is a strong interest in supporting sustainable groundwater management.
- Habitat: The interest statements show a consistent level of support for the Water Forum’s existing habitat enhancement program. The scope and scale of the program are strongly linked to the other areas of interest.
Ad Hoc Technical Team: Providing a Quantitative Foundation
In 2022, the Water Forum made crucial progress on the “Study Plan and Analysis”—the quantitative framework for negotiations. Initiated in 2021, the Study Plan seeks to understand the answer to key questions that, ultimately, explore how future conditions in the American River watershed compare to current conditions.
Water Forum 2.0 Participating Organizations
Thank you to the organizations and their representatives that are devoting countless hours to participating in Water Forum 2.0 negotiations. This list includes organizations that signed onto the original agreement and new ones, as well.
- AKT Development*
- North State Building Industry Association*
- Sacramento Association of Realtors*
- Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce*
- Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange (SRBX)
- Green Acres Nursery & Supply
- Environmental Council of Sacramento*
- Friends of the River*
- Save the American River Association*
- Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter*
- American River Flood Control District
- American River Parkway Foundation
- City of Rancho Cordova
- City of Sacramento*
- Effie Yeaw Nature Center
- League of Women Voters, Sacramento County *
- Placer County
- Sacramento Area Council of Governments
- Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA)
- Sacramento County*
- Sacramento Regional Parks
- Sacramento Valley Conservancy
- California American Water*
- Carmichael Water District*
- Citrus Heights Water District*
- City of Folsom*
- City of Roseville*
- City of Sacramento*
- Del Paso Manor Water District*
- East Bay Municipal Utilities District
- El Dorado Irrigation District*
- El Dorado Water Agency*
- Elk Grove Water District*
- Fair Oaks Water District*
- Florin County Water District*
- Golden State Water Company / Arden-Cordova Water District*
- Orange Vale Water Company*
- Placer County Water Agency*
- Rancho Murieta Community Service District*
- Regional Water Authority
- Rio Linda/Elverta Community Water District*
- Sacramento Suburban Water District*
- Sacramento County Water Agency*
- San Juan Water District*
*Denotes organization that was a signatory to the 2000 agreement.
Publications and Data
- Water Caucus Interest Statement Slides
- Environmental Caucus Interest Statement Slides
- Business Caucus Interest Statement Slides
- Public Caucus Interest Statement Slides
- Climate Change Foundational Briefing Slides
- Fisheries Foundational Briefing Slides
- Regulatory Foundational Briefing Slides
- Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Overview
- Regional Modeling
- South American Subbasin
- Cosumnes Subbasin
- Water Accounting Framework
Water Conservation and Use Efficiency Working Group Presentations:
- Water Use Efficiency from a Practitioner Perspective – PCWA
- City of Roseville Water Efficiency Programs
- Conservation, Efficiency and the Water Forum – RWA
Water Forum 2.0 Learning and Engagement Sessions
The Water Forum has hosted nearly a dozen learning and engagement sesions on the topics listed below. You can find recordings for all of these on our YouTube channel here.
- Plenary | Demand Management, Recycled Water, Harvest Water, Policy and Communication
- Plenary | Forecasting Supplies, Upstream Reservoir Management and Cold Water Management
- Plenary | Key Findings of the Ad Hoc Technical Team
- Plenary | Impacts of Growth and Climate Change on Water Supply Reliability and River Health
- Learning & Engagement Session | How the System Works
- Educational Session | Flow Management Standard
- Educational Session | Groundwater (1/4) SGMA
- Educational Session | Groundwater (2/4) Regional Modeling
- Educational Session | Groundwater (3/4) South American and Cosumnes Subbasins
- Educational Session | Groundwater (4/4) Water Accounting Framework & Groundwater Banking
- Educational Session | Regulatory Session
- Educational Session | Climate Change
- Educational Session | Fisheries