Santa Ana River Conservation and Conjunctive Use Program

Five regional water agencies within the Santa Ana River Watershed joined in an innovative collaboration to develop and implement a watershed-wide “large water supply” solution. Dudek Engineers facilitated brainstorming and, with agency staffs, led the development of the Santa Ana River Conservation and Conjunctive Use Program (SARCCUP), in addition to grant application preparation and designing initial facilities.

Project Facts
  • 8,000 acre-feet per year (AFY) conservation savings
  • 60,000 AFY new water supply developed
  • 180,000 AF of storage developed for banking
  • 700 acres of habitat restored
  • $67 million in grant funding

The Challenge

The Santa Ana River Watershed is stressed by increasing demand and loss of water supply during the recently ended drought. A reliable water supply is integral to residents’ quality of life and supporting the growing economy. In addition, regional water agencies recognized the effectiveness of collaboration to create solutions for water supply future needs.

The Solution

With California voters approving $100 million to fund water projects, the local agencies set a goal to develop a large water supply solution that may not otherwise be developed without a large funding source. Rather than fund the local agencies’ capital improvement programs, SARCCUP was developed to provide a watershed-wide solution.

Our engineers facilitated brainstorming with agencies to develop an approach, provided planning and initial design of infrastructure, and wrote the grant application to secure $67 million in funding. SARCCUP is being implemented with 8,000 AFY of conservation and a phase one development of 60,000 AFY of new supply by capturing runoff that is normally lost to the ocean in wet years.

In Our Words

“Working with and being a part of this collaboration of some of the country’s top water agencies was incredible. The foresight that these agencies are implementing will become the foundation that future generations will continue to benefit from by having a durable water supply.”

Bob Ohlund, PE
Principal Engineer

What We Did

Our multidisciplinary specialties allow us to provide efficiencies that maintain project momentum.

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