Project History

After decades of planning, construction of the Regional Water Treatment facilities began in April 2014. The facilities were completed in July 2016. View the construction time-lapse video below.

The project included constructing a jointly owned and operated intake on the Sacramento River (WDCWA in partnership with Reclamation District 2035), a raw water pipeline connecting the intake to a regional water treatment facility, and separate pipelines (large diameter transmission mains) to deliver treated water to Woodland, Davis and UC Davis. Woodland and Davis each made improvements to their respective water supply infrastructure, including distribution pipelines, water storage tanks and booster pump stations.

Project objectives included:

  • Providing a sustainable, high-quality water supply to help meet existing and future needs
  • Improving drinking water quality
  • Improving the quality of treated wastewater




Why was the project needed?

Woodland and Davis relied entirely on groundwater for water supplies. In the past, groundwater was plentiful enough to meet community needs, and state and federal water quality regulations. Groundwater alone was not expected to meet future state drinking water quality and wastewater discharge regulations. The quality of local groundwater supplies was deteriorating and had an increasing amount of salts and other minerals that threatened the environment and public health. The Cities determined only groundwater could not meet anticipated future regulations for the water coming into homes, or for water returned to the environment after leaving the wastewater treatment facilities. An alternative, high-quality water source (treated surface water) was needed to largely replace and supplement the groundwater supplies.

What are the benefits of the project?

The many benefits include health and safety of drinking water supplies, reduced costs from avoidance of wear and tear on water using appliances, compliance with treated wastewater discharge requirements, and environmental benefits associated with improvements to discharged wastewater and with the replacement of an antiquated intake on the Sacramento River. Resulting improvements in the quality of treated wastewater increase the opportunity for water reuse, advance environmental stewardship in the Yolo Bypass, and potentially lower wastewater treatment costs from what they otherwise would be in the future. Additionally, aquifer storage and recovery wells have been constructed in Woodland, which involves injecting high-quality, treated surface water into the aquifer for later use. This allows Woodland to maximize the use of surface water supplies by storing the surface water in the ground during the winter months when more water is available and delivering that water to customers when surface water supplies are not as readily available.

Why couldn’t we continue to use groundwater as our sole water source? Isn’t there plenty of groundwater?

It’s the quality of the water – not the quantity – that prompted the shift from groundwater to surface water. It was getting more and more difficult to meet demands for water use and water quality regulations using existing infrastructure. Even with major improvements to groundwater facilities (wells and pumps, for example), future water quality regulations for drinking water and treated wastewater would still fall short. The Cities needed a higher-quality source of water.

Project Cost 

The cost for project development and implementation was $279.2 million. The bulk of the project is funded through customer water rates. Actions to reduce Project cost impacts to customers, included:

  • Secured state and federal funding to reduce projected rate increases.
  • Partnering with Reclamation District 2035 to jointly finance, construct, own, and operate the water intake facility.
  • Awarding a Design-Build-Operate (DBO) service contract for the construction of project facilities. The Agency selected CH2M Hill, a highly-qualified contractor, to design, build, operate and maintain the water treatment facility. This resulted in lower construction costs and reduces fixed costs for operations for up to 15 years.
  • Appropriately sizing the water treatment facility based on detailed studies of current and future anticipated demand for water.

Project Documents



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