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Yuba Water Agency was established in 1959 to reduce flood risk and provide a sustainable water supply to the people of Yuba County. Yuba County has historically endured devastating floods, due in part to Gold Rush era hydraulic mining practices that washed millions of cubic yards of debris into the Yuba River, raising the riverbed and increasing the flood risk.
As gold mining gave way to farming and ranching, water users south of the Yuba River over-drafted the aquifer, causing dramatic declines in groundwater levels. To resolve these problems, Yuba Water Agency proposed the Yuba River Development Project, a multipurpose flood control, water supply and hydropower generation project, which was approved in 1961. In 1966, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a license for the project, and Yuba Water Agency completed construction in 1970.
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The Yuba Water Agency is a stand-alone public agency governed by a board of 7 elected officials to serve the people of Yuba County. Established by a special act of the California State Legislature in 1959, the agency’s primary missions are flood risk reduction, water supply, fish habitat protection and enhancement, hydroelectric generation, and recreation.
Yes, you can find meeting agendas, minutes, and supporting documents for our Board of Directors and other committees in the Agenda Center.
Yes. You can learn more about our flood management efforts in the Flood Risk Reduction section.
For the last 50 years, the Yuba Water Agency has flown under the radar, largely unnoticed by the public. We are in a position to make a significant impact in the lives of the people of Yuba County that could truly transform this community for the better. And yet, we found that many Yuba County residents had not heard of us, or if they had, they weren’t sure what we did. Many residents confused us for a department within the government of Yuba County. We wanted to minimize confusion about who we are and what we do, so we dropped county from the name, to make it easier to stand out as a separate government agency. At the same time, we wanted to make sure that our image is one that people can easily connect with and identify out of the sea of government agencies and organizations that people come into contact with on a daily basis.
No, the legal name of Yuba County Water Agency will stay the same. While the new brand and logo identify the organization as the Yuba Water Agency, it is primarily to simplify and clarify the community’s understanding of who we are and what we do. On all legal documents, we still refer to ourselves as the Yuba County Water Agency.
Each year, Yuba Water Agency invests millions of dollars into projects to further our primary missions of reducing flood risk and ensuring a sustainable water supply for Yuba County. In addition, we provide many grants to a number of organizations and projects that are related to our mission areas, to provide local resources and support community development and improvement projects. We also make significant financial investments to improve the natural fisheries of the Yuba River, and to educate the public about water and fisheries issues.
Just a few recent examples of contributions made by Yuba Water Agency include the following:
Funded the local cost-share of improvements to the Feather River Setback Levee, leveraging more than $400 million in federal and state investment
Partnered with PG&E to provide water conservation improvements to low income homes in Yuba County through their Energy Savings Assistance program
Are investing $1.5 million for the Blue Forest program, a pilot project to use various tactics to thin the forest, reducing fire risk and ensuring and improved water supply and quality in the Yuba River watershed
Funded the purchase of a new water tender truck for the Dobbins-Oregon House Fire Protection District, which serves the agency's facilities in the foothills
Granted more than $2 million to Yuba County for ongoing services and equipment, including flood preparedness supplies
Provided essential first aid kits for the Yuba County Mounted Sheriff’s Posse
Funded the River Management Team fisheries research
Funded the Fish in the Classroom educational program
Going forward, Yuba Water Agency will continue to provide grants, supplies and other funding for a number of local projects and programs within our mission areas. Currently, we plan to dedicate approximately $1 million each year for this purpose, above and beyond our primary missions.