The Yuba Water Agency (YWA) provides water, flood control and hydropower for communities in Northern California, and serves as a supplementary source for cities and farms across California in dry years through its water transfer program.
For the agency and everyone they serve, wildfires are bad news. In addition to endangering YWA’s workers and customers, sediment from a wildfire could clog the agency’s reservoir, damaging its infrastructure and increasing operating costs.
A healthier, thinner forest reduces fire risk significantly, and it also protects water quality and can improve water quantity. The Yuba watershed is about to reap all of those benefits, through a pilot project of the Forest Resilience Bond with Blue Forest Conservation and the World Resources Institute. The Yuba County Water agency will support this effort with a $1.5 million cost-share contribution to help fund the planned restoration in the Yuba Project. The agency’s board of directors today approved the cost-share contribution, which will help fund various forest management techniques and allow researchers to study the effects on the watershed.
Recent predictions for the 2018 wildfire season likely have many across the West worried, especially thanks to drought conditions that have persisted through the winter in several states. Just last year over 10 million acres burned, making it one of the country’s worst wildfire seasons in recorded history. It’s no wonder people are worried.