LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--An agreement that will help boost water reliability for the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in San Diego County was approved today by the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Through the water service agreement between Metropolitan, the Sycuan tribe, San Diego County Water Authority and Padre Dam Municipal Water District, water will be delivered to 227 acres of developed land on the Sycuan Indian Reservation, located in an unincorporated area of San Diego County, just east of El Cajon. The federally recognized tribe has historically relied on independent groundwater supplies to serve this portion of its reservation and sought a more reliable supply.
“Metropolitan delivers about 85 percent of the water used in San Diego County. It is important for the Sycuan tribe to have access to the same high-quality, reliable water supply enjoyed by the rest of the region,” said Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger.
Although more recently acquired land on the reservation is serviced by the Padre Dam Municipal Water District and the Otay Water District, the tribe’s original 640-acre reservation, including the 227 acres served under this agreement, were never annexed by any water district, leaving the tribe to rely on groundwater for that portion of the reservation.
“As a responsible government providing a wide range of services to the public – including law enforcement, firefighting and healthcare – the Sycuan tribe requires a dependable water supply. This agreement with Metropolitan and our local water agencies provides that – to our tribal members, employees, customers, and residents – and further ensures Sycuan’s leadership role in creating positive economic opportunities throughout the region,” said Sycuan Tribal Chairman Cody Martinez.
“Metropolitan has an established record of finding cooperative ways to deliver water to tribes in our service area, including agreements with the Soboba, Pechanga, and now the Sycuan,” said Metropolitan board Chairman Randy Record. “This action represents our commitment to supporting the communities we serve throughout Southern California.”
A state law passed in 2016 (AB 2470, Gonzalez) facilitated the agreement, allowing for the delivery of and payment for water without requiring that the land be fully annexed. Under the agreement, Sycuan will follow all the same terms and conditions and receive the same service as other Metropolitan customers. The agreement is similar to a water supply agreement approved in 2016 with the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.