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Posted on: November 3, 2022

Napa Valley Agencies Complete Federal Study on Drought Contingency

Drought Contingency Plan

In 2019, several Napa Valley agencies, along with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, joined together as the Napa Valley Drought Contingency Plan Task Force (DCP Task Force). The DCP Task Force members include Napa County, the cities of Napa, American Canyon, Calistoga, and St. Helena, the Town of Yountville, and the Napa Sanitation District. This group was charged with developing a Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) to mitigate drought risk and prepare the region to respond to drought and resulting water supply challenges. The DCP Task Force is pleased to announce the completion of the Napa Valley Drought Contingency Plan (NVDCP)– a living document that explores and brings understanding and action to the future of water in the region. The document and more information are online at napawatersheds.org/dcp.

The NVDCP incorporates work done by some of the local water agencies in their urban water management plans and water shortage contingency plans, and integrates information from the Napa County Groundwater Sustainability Plan. The effort was assisted by the Watershed Information and Conservation Council which served as an Advisory Committee to the DCP Task Force as the planning process progressed.

The development of this NVDCP included coordination with other local studies so that potential linkages supporting project implementation funding could be identified as part of the NVDCP. With the formation of the Napa County Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) in December 2019 and the corresponding development of the Napa Valley Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), opportunities for collaboration were identified.

The NVDCP reviews and summarizes existing water supply and demand data for all pertinent water agencies and end users, describes local and statewide drought monitoring procedures, and establishes an administrative and organizational framework that identifies who is responsible for undertaking the actions necessary to implement the various elements of the NVDCP. 

The NVDCP also: 

    Develops a process for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of water availability and other drought-related data; evaluates the vulnerability of water supplies to drought and climate change. 

    Identifies, evaluates, and prioritizes mitigation actions and activities that will build long-term resiliency to drought, mitigate the risks posed by drought, decrease sector vulnerabilities, and reduce the need for response actions.

    Identifies, evaluates, and prioritizes drought response actions and activities that can be implemented quickly during a drought to mitigate the impacts and provide rapid benefits; establishes a staged approach to implementation.

Vanessa Emerzian, Project Manager at U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, stated, “This study will prove invaluable for the Napa Valley region as it examines drought conditions into the future and how they may be mitigated, and what regional projects may prove to have the highest value for resiliency moving forward.” By completing the NVDCP, such projects can now be positioned for potential federal and state funding.

As part of the NVDCP, the local agencies took a more in-depth look at several projects, including the purchase of storage allocation at Sites Reservoir, an Integrated Supply and Reservoir Operations Study, and exploring the feasibility of an advanced purified water project in the region. All three of these projects are actively being worked on by various members of the DCP Task Force. 

For more information, please contact:

Patrick Costello, City of Napa

707-257-9309

[email protected] 

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