Harvest Water

Harvest Water

Reliable recycled water for regional sustainability


Regional San, in collaboration with stakeholders, is developing Harvest Water (formerly known as the South County Ag Program). Harvest Water is a recycled water program that will provide a safe and reliable supply of tertiary-treated water to agriculture and habitat lands in southern Sacramento County. Harvest Water will facilitate groundwater recovery, boost sustainable agriculture, strengthen local habitats, and offer near-term benefits to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Join us at an upcoming meeting on September 20 in Franklin or October 2 in Elk Grove to learn more about Harvest Water construction plans.

Latest Update August 2023

  • Planning: Grower interest in recycled water continues to increase. The Harvest Water team is now working to finalize recycled water service agreement templates and associated documents, such as rules and regulations for use of recycled water. The Harvest Water team finalized the ecosystem and water quality public benefits contracts with California resource agencies in June 2023. These contracts define the benefits that Harvest Water will provide. They includes benefit descriptions, terms, definitions, performance measurement metrics, monitoring requirements, and Adaptive Management Plans.
  • Design: The new recycled water pump station, transmission main, distribution pipelines, and on-farm connections are nearing design completion and advertisement to bid.
    • Harvest Water Pump Station: Completed 90% design milestones and it is expected to go out to bid in August 2023.
    • Elk Grove Transmission Pipeline: Completed 60% design and negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Elk Grove. The project will be advertised to bid in late 2023.
    • Franklin Eschinger Pipelines: Design was completed in May and the project was the first to go out to bid in May 2023.
    • Central South Pipelines: Design for this project is nearing completion and it is scheduled to go out to bid in September 2023.
    • West Pipelines: Design for the West Pipelines was completed. This was the second project to go out to bid in late July 2023.
    • On Farm Connection Assemblies: Grower outreach has increased the number of on farm connections to approximately 125 sites. The designer is anticipated to provide Design Submittal 2 in fall 2023.
  • Outreach: Regional San continues outreach with local landowners regarding participation in the EcoPlan elements of Harvest Water. Residential and commercial outreach continues ahead of construction starting in late 2023. In-person public meetings where the team will be available to answer questions and share project information is scheduled for fall 2023 in both Elk Grove and Franklin.
  • Funding: On June 21, 2023, Harvest Water achieved a significant milestone when California Water Commission confirmed its commitment to award $291.8M in Proposition 1 grant funding from the Water Storage Investment Program (WISP). Regional San has received $14.4M in early funding reimbursements under WSIP and now works work towards a final funding agreement for the remaining $277.4M. A $30 million U.S. Bureau of Reclamation grant award is also forthcoming, and staff continue to explore additional funding opportunities.


Harvest Water, formerly known as the South County Ag Program, is being developed by Regional San. Once operational, Harvest Water will be one of the largest water recycling projects in California with the potential to deliver up to 50,000-acre feet per year (AFY) of tertiary-treated recycled water from the EchoWater Resource Recovery Facility near Elk Grove to up to 16,000 acres of farm and habitat lands in southern Sacramento County.

Tertiary-treated recycled water undergoes a thorough treatment process that removes harmful bacteria and chemicals so that the water is safe to reuse and release back into the environment. Harvest Water will enable local farmers to use recycled water instead of pumping groundwater. 

Additionally, Harvest Water will lead ecosystem management activities and improve wildlife habitats by increasing water in the surrounding area during winter.

As the project progresses, the Harvest Water team will continue conducting extensive outreach and coordination with local growers, finalizing designs, and preparing for construction. A skilled team of engineers, planners, biologists, and more will lead this innovative project that transforms how recycled water is used in southern Sacramento County.

Find project resources and documents listed below.

Timeline and Map

  • 2011-2012: Feasibility Study
  • 2015-2020: Program Planning
  • 2020-2021: Design Reports
  • 2021-2023: Final Design
  • 2023-2026: Construction
  • 2026-Ongoing: Operational

Harvest Water is located roughly between I-5 and the Cosumnes River, and from south Elk Grove to the Cosumnes River Preserve.

Harvest Water Service Area (blue) and planned transmission line (orange)

click map to enlarge


The California Water Commission conditionally awarded Regional San $291.8 million in Proposition 1 grant funding through the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP) to help make Harvest Water a reality for the Sacramento region. WSIP funding is awarded based on public benefit through a rigorous and competitive review process, and Regional San is honored to receive state support for Harvest Water.

Regional San was also conditionally awarded a $30 million grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation grant as part of the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program.


Harvest Water benefits:

Facilitate groundwater recovery:
  • Increases regional and state water supply reliability through groundwater storage and coordination of surface water and groundwater, which aligns with state and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation goals for recycled water use
  • Expands the volume of groundwater in storage by approximately 370,000 acre-feet, which is approximately one-third the size of Folsom Lake
  • Raises local groundwater levels by more than 25 feet and helps advance the goals of basin sustainability under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)
Boost sustainable agriculture
  • Provides up to 50,000-acre feet per year (AFY) of reliable recycled water to irrigate more than 16,000 acres of agricultural lands
  • Offsets drought conditions and supports agricultural resilience to preserve rural landscapes in and around the program area
  • Encourages recycled water use through financial incentives to participating landowners/operators
Strengthen local habitats
  • Sustains healthy water supply over 5,000-acres of riparian and wetland habitats through improved groundwater conditions
  • Provides additional habitat for Sandhill Crane, Swainson’s Hawk, Giant Garter Snake, and a variety of other threatened species
  • Supports a longer migration window for fall-run Chinook Salmon through increased streamflow volume in the Consumnes River
  • Improves regional water quality by reducing the salinity load to Sacramento and Delta waterways


Regional San has worked extensively with our environmental, agricultural, and water supply partners including:

  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Local farmers
  • Sierra Club
  • City of Elk Grove
  • County of Sacramento
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • The Environmental Defense Fund
  • Regional Water Authority
  • League of Women Voters
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk
  • Sacramento Area Creeks Council
  • Sacramento County Farm Bureau
  • Sacramento County Water Agency
  • Southgate Recreation & Park District
  • Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
  • Sacramento Water Recycling Coalition
  • Sacramento Central Groundwater Authority
  • Federal and state legislative members
General Information

Harvest Water Resources

The resources below help explain the details and benefits of Harvest Water.

Press Releases & Media Coverage

Regional San receives $291.8 million in Prop 1 grant funding for Harvest Water – California’s newest and largest agricultural water recycling project – Press Release, June 21, 2023

Regional San Awarded Funding for Project – Press Release, March 17, 2022

Regional San Project to Receive Grant Funding – Press Release, August 12, 2021

Regional San’s Landmark Recycled Water Program Gets New Name – Press Release, July 8, 2020

Water Recycling Project Promises Supply for Farms – Ag Alert, June 24, 2020

Sacramento Region Gets Significant Boost to Increase Recycled Water Use – Press Release, September 16, 2019

Regional San to Receive $280.5 Million in Prop. 1 Funds to Expand Water Recycling in the Sacramento Region – Press Release, July 24, 2018

Informational Sheets

Comparing Recycled Water to Local Groundwater

Frequently Asked Questions

EcoPlan Fact Sheet

Environmental Documents

Vehicle Turnouts-EIR Addendum (CEQA) – May 2021

Groundwater Accounting Project - EIR Addendum (CEQA) - March 2021

Appendix A – Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Modeling

Ecological Plan and Wintertime Application Projects-EIR Addendum (CEQA) -January 2021

Appendix A – Landowner Checklist

Appendix B – Loading and Mixing Analysis

Lateral Pipelines and On-Farm Connections Project – Initial Study Checklist (CEQA)– August 2020

Appendix A – Greenhouse Gas Emissions Technical Report

Appendix B – Biological Resources Technical Report

Appendix C – Land Owner Checklist (see updated checklist above)

Final Program Environmental Impact Report (CEQA) – January 2017

Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (CEQA)– July 2016

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