March 2022
El Dorado Water NEWStream
March Edition
Welcome to the March issue of NEWStream! The first few months of 2022 have been busy for the Agency’s Board of Directors and staff with continued recovery from the Caldor Fire, plus new water planning challenges from our ‘wet turned dry’ winter season. We will continue to share news and updates about the Agency’s efforts in quarterly issues of this newsletter. If you’re on Twitter, I encourage you to follow @EDWaterAgency for ongoing updates and relevant news. For additional information and updates on the Agency, you can also visit our website, at

The Agency remains committed to its mission to secure a reliable water supply for El Dorado County. This coming year, we will continue to collaborate with local, regional, state, and federal partners to further advance critical water resource planning initiatives and programs for the region to protect our watershed.   

I look forward to a meaningful and productive 2022 for the Agency with each of our important partners. I appreciate our ongoing alliances and shared vision of ensuring reliable water for El Dorado County’s needs now, and well into the future.  
Agency Welcomes New Staff Member 
We are pleased to announce that Kyle Ericson has joined our staff as a Water Agency Resources Engineer. Kyle will oversee program activities and management of water resource related projects throughout El Dorado County, including initiatives related to water supply resiliency, drought planning, stormwater resource management, watershed management, and water use efficiency.
Kyle brings more than 30 years of water resource planning and water engineering-related experience to the Agency. He has held engineering positions within the private sector and local government, including water and other public utility districts in the region. He has specialized experience and is highly qualified in regulatory compliance issues related to water supply and wastewater operations and permits.
Prior to joining EDWA, Kyle contracted with government agencies to support a variety of water resource-related projects and programmatic management activities, including grant writing, grant management, coordination with local, state, and federal agencies on water resource-related issues, policy development, and environmental permitting. His recent experience also includes working with EDWA on a variety of projects and programs.
Agency Continues Vital Support for Rural and Small Water Systems in El Dorado County
We are continuing to work closely with the County of El Dorado (County) to address the ongoing drought and water shortages impacting small water systems in rural areas of the County.   
On the West Slope of the County, a substantial portion of private land, which is designated by the County’s General Plan for economic development, is not served by a major water provider. Small water suppliers in these areas typically rely on surface water from small streams, or from vulnerable and low-yield, fractured rock groundwater aquifers. These small systems are especially susceptible to the impacts of drought. Many of these small water systems face other challenges as well, such as limited funding required to maintain or replace aging water system infrastructure.  
We recognize that our County’s rural and small water systems are vulnerable to droughts, and they don’t have the resources to proactively plan or reinforce their water systems for an extended drought. Our objective is to help strengthen our small water suppliers’ ability to weather and improve supply reliability during future droughts and other water shortage events. The Agency’s ongoing assistance, in coordination with the County, focuses on working with the small, rural water suppliers to update water resource plans, seek funding support for system improvements, and help to ensure compliance with new and evolving regulations.

These efforts closely align with our 2019 Water Resources Development and Management Plan (WRDMP), which also serves as the County’s required Countywide Water Management Plan. Specifically, two of the Resource Management Strategies (RMS) outlined in the WRDMP directly address droughts and water shortages (RMS-7 Improve Drought Preparedness and Responses) and advocating to improve affordability and accessibility to water supplies (RMS-8: Ensure All Residents Have Water Accessibility and Affordable Water). This support is also consistent with the Agency’s overarching mission to ensure that El Dorado County has adequate water to serve its multiple needs now and in the future.
Draft Plan for Tahoe Valley South Groundwater Basin Available for Public Review 
Groundwater is an essential resource to the entire South Lake Tahoe area. It is the primary supply of drinking water for more than 14,000 South Tahoe Public Utility District (District) customers, and over 3,000 residences served by homeowner associations, a private water company, and homes that have individual wells.  

Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the District and the Agency are both designated as Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSA) that are responsible for developing and implementing a Groundwater Management Plan (GMP) for the Tahoe Valley South (TVS) groundwater basin. 

On February 9, 2022, the District, as lead GSA for the GMP, released a draft of the first five-year update to the plan for the Tahoe Valley South Subbasin. Referred to as an “Alternative Plan,” the GMP update describes the TVS Subbasin, including groundwater use, groundwater conditions, groundwater-surface water interactions, climate change impacts, and natural and man-made challenges that can lead to undesirable groundwater quality. It also outlines an implementation plan for ongoing, short-term, and long-term groundwater management activities for the sustainable management of groundwater resources within the TVS Subbasin.

For more information and to view the Alternative Plan, please visit The 30-day public comment period concludes tomorrow, March 11, 2022.
Agency Receives WaterSMART Grant for Water Efficiency Project in El Dorado Hills
The Agency has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the United States Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Small Scale Water Efficiency Grants program. Our proposed project, “El Dorado Hills Community Services District, Stephen Harris Park Water Savings Reclamation Funding,” was one of 82 projects selected in the Western United States, with grant funding for each project ranging from $7,000 to the maximum of $75,000.
As part of our commitment to collaborate with other organizations on water resource-related planning, the Agency will partner on this project with The County of El Dorado (County) and the El Dorado Hills Community Services District (EDHCSD). The project includes replacing certain turf areas with native vegetation, as well as installing a high-efficiency irrigation system at Stephen Harris Park in El Dorado Hills. Once completed, the project will improve year-round water use efficiency and reduce park operation and maintenance costs.
This project helps the County and EDHCSD comply with Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance standards and also aligns with the water resource management strategies in our 2019 Water Resources Development and Management Plan. Once completed, this project will save an estimated 1.2 million gallons of water each year, significantly contributing to the County’s water conservation efforts.

The WaterSMART Small Scale Water Efficiency Grants help local communities implement water efficiency improvements, which can include equipment for more accurate flow measurement and automation or repairs and upgrades to water delivery systems to reduce leakage. For more information on the program and the selected projects, please visit