Yuba Water Agency Agricultural Water Managment Plan

Client: Yuba Water Agency

Funder: Yuba Water Agency

Location: Yuba County, California

Date: 2011-present

California passed the Water Conservation Act of 2009 (SBx7-7) to encourage water conservation practices across the State’s agricultural water supplies; among other mandates, it required suppliers serving more than 25,000 acres were required to develop an agricultural water management plan (AWMP). Davids Engineering (DE) prepared an AWMP for the Yuba Water Agency, which diverts water from the Yuba River for delivery to eight smaller agricultural water suppliers, known as member units. The plan includes a description of the regional setting and water supplies; water management activities, objectives, and opportunities; potential effects, impacts, and mitigation strategies for climate change; both regional and detailed water budgets; implemented and planned efficient water management practices; and recommendations for improvement and modernization projects, additional data collection, additional studies and planning, and partnerships to improve water management in the region.

The Yuba Water Agency is a leader in water management in the region, and beyond striving for the long term reliability, quality, and affordability in water supplies for the member units, it also plays a role in flood protection, fisheries enhancement, development and sale of hydroelectric power, and recreation. The area included in the AWMP is located within Yuba County on the east side of the Sacramento Valley in northern California; in total the eight member units comprise roughly 80,000 acres. The eight member units are Brophy Water District, Browns Valley Irrigation District, Cordua Irrigation District, Dry Creek Mutual Water Company, Hallwood Irrigation Company, Ramirez Water District, South Yuba Water District, and Wheatland Water District. The primary crop grown in the region is rice, and additional crops include pasture, walnuts, and prunes. A key aspect of YWA’s water management highlighted in the AWMP is conjunctive management of surface water and groundwater supplies. Through providing available surface water from the YWA to member units for irrigation, YWA was able to reverse potentially serious groundwater overdraft in the South Yuba groundwater basin and allow declining groundwater levels to recover. YWA continues to actively facilitate conjunctive use of groundwater, particularly in times of limited surface water availability. The AWMP allows YWA to evaluate its ongoing water management practices and identify opportunities for improvement to meet local, regional, and statewide water management objectives.

In addition to development of the AWMP, Davids Engineering has provided technical assistance to YWA and the member units through the implementation of a delivery measurement program, identifying, designing, and implementing system improvement and modernization projects, and preparing and calculating water balances (including development of an IWFM Demand Calculator (IDC) model to quantify water balance inputs). In 2015 and 2020, Davids Engineering updated the AWMP for YWA. Davids Engineering continues to be actively involved in advancing water management in the region.

All Projects

Tehama County Groundwater Sustainability Plan Implementation 

Colusa Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Revisions

Madera Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Revisions 

Chowchilla Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Revisions

Moore Siphon Replacement Project

Dos Rios Ranch SB88 Compliance and Crop Planning Analysis

Hart Ranch On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Improvements

Orland Project Distribution System Modernization

Water Management Plan Compliance Mapping

Agricultural Development Feasibility Assessment

Analysis of Effects of Water Management on Evapotranspiration from Managed Wetlands

Garden Highway Mutual Water Company Water Control Projects

Richvale Irrigation District Phase I Infrastructure Modernization

Joint Water Districts Board SCADA

Sutter Mutual Water Company Modernization Support

Shasta Valley Groundwater Monitoring

Time Series Evapotranspiration and Applied Water Estimates from Remote Sensing

Customer Delivery Measurement Data Collection and Accounting (RemoteTracker Implementation)

SGMA Technical Support Services and Prop 1 Stressed Basin Grant Project

Efficiency Conservation Definite Plan and Conservation Program

Boundary Outflow Measurements

Oakdale Irrigation District Agricultural Water Management Plan

Yuba Water Agency Agricultural Water Managment Plan

Feather River Agricultural Water Management Plan (FRRAWMP)

Colusa Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Development

Madera and Chowchilla Subbasins Groundwater Sustainability Plans

2022 Verification Project for Madera County GSAs

Little Shasta River Efficiency Study

Mill Creek Flow Measurement Improvements

Kettle Spring Improvement Project

Antelope Creek Fish Passage Improvement Project

Conservation Planning and Operations Decision Support