The Use of Wholesale Water Rates to Encourage the Groundwater Conjunctive Use

by Richard W. Atwater, M.W.D., Los Angeles, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H²AL)


The availability and price of imported Colorado River water were critical components to the development of groundwater management programs in Southern California. Economical imported water was an incentive to develop conjunctive management schemes that allowed for groundwater extractions in excess of the natural safe yield of the basins. In 1981, Metropolitan's Board of Directors adopted a comprehensive new water rate structure, the interruptible program, in recognition of the tremendous benefit to the region of the ability to tap groundwater basin storage during droughts, and to thereby free supplies for areas without such capability. The success of the interruptible program is evidenced by significant increases in purchases of interruptible service as a result of local capital investment in groundwater production facilities. Metropolitan's Board of Directors, in July 1989, adopted an innovative wholesale water pricing program (called Seasonal Storage Service) to encourage greater utilization of the groundwater basins and a more efficient operation of the import delivery system. The Local Projects Program (LPP), created in 1981, provides financial rebates to local agencies in developing new local water supplies to reduce demands on our imported supplies.

Subject Headings: Groundwater management | Basins | Water use | Groundwater | Water resources | Water storage | Pricing | Urban areas | California | United States | Colorado River

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