The lower American River is one of the Sacramento region’s greatest treasures. Generations of residents have grown up on the river and along the parkway, enjoying its rich ecosystem of plants and wildlife. And since time immemorial, the river has provided drinking water and now sustains our livelihoods.
But the river doesn’t just provide for us, it also needs our active stewardship. Our plan for the region’s water future relies on three key features:
- Managing Folsom Reservoir that ensures enough cool water is stored for fish and as a drought buffer for residents and businesses. In particular, we’re asking state and federal agencies to adopt the Water Forum’s long-studied flow standard. When modeled and compared to the state’s approach, our flow standard produced significantly lower water temperatures during the crucial rearing season for steelhead, more spawning habitat for fall-run Chinook salmon, better overall habitat conditions, particularly in the driest years, and improved water supply reliability in the American River basin.
- Continuing to increase the region’s water use efficiency to ensure everyone is contributing to a healthy American River and Delta. Local residents have demonstrated time and again that they are willing to use water efficiently. During the drought, residents reached some of the highest conservation levels in the state. And over time, the region’s water use has been steady even as the population has increased.
- Investing in pipes, pumps and other infrastructure needed to fully utilize the region’s groundwater aquifer for drinking water during drought so that more water is available in the American River for fish when they need it most. Over the past several decades local water providers have been working together to strategically shift the region’s water use to surface water or groundwater according to availability and are actively working to develop the Sacramento Regional Water Bank, an innovative groundwater storage program.
We might not recognize the Sacramento region as home without the nationally-designated Wild and Scenic River that winds its way through our community. Together, we can manage and protect the lower American River to preserve the beauty, vital ecosystem and prosperity that it provides, now and for many generations to come.
To learn more, please contact: 916-808-1999