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.

Latest Update November 2023

Planning: Harvest Water has secured sufficient Letters of Intent to meet the project’s recycled water demand recruitment goals. The Harvest Water team is finalizing the recycled water service agreement template and associated documents, such as rules and regulations for use of recycled water. Regional San anticipates providing the agreement template for Board approval in December 2023.

Design: Harvest Water design consultants continue to work on issuing contract documents for public bidding and developing final designs for each of the projects.

Harvest Water Pump Station: Design consultant HDR has finalized late changes to the project plans and specifications. Bid advertisement started on October 17 with bids due on December 6. Bid award is anticipated to occur at the January 10, 2024 Board meeting.

Elk Grove Transmission Pipeline: The memorandum of understanding between Regional San and the City of Elk Grove that establishes requirements for design and construction of the pipeline within the City was executed by both parties in August. Design consultant Stantec is in the process of finalizing the 100% design. An item for approval to advertise the project has been placed on the November 8 Board agenda. Advertisement is scheduled to begin November 9 after Board approval, with bids due on December 20. Bid award is anticipated to occur at the January 10, 2024 Board meeting.

Central/South Pipelines: Design consultant Jacobs has completed design and the project was approved for advertisement by the Board on October 11. Advertisement was posted on October 12 with bids due on November 22. Bid award is anticipated to occur at the January 10, 2024 Board meeting.

West Pipelines: Designer Jacobs completed design and the project was advertised for bids in late July.  Bids for were received on September 19. Bid award to the low bidder, Sukut, was approved by our Board on October 11. Notice To Proceed is expected by early January 2024.

On Farm Connection Assemblies: The design contract for this project was awarded to Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc. (KSN). The project team expects 90% design submittal in December 2023 and bid advertisement in late March 2024.

Outreach: Staff hosted a project open house in Franklin in September and a public meeting in Elk Grove in October. Additional residential, commercial, and landowner outreach will continue as construction is anticipated to begin in late 2023.

Funding: The California Water Commission confirmed Proposition 1 grant funding of $291.8 million from the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP) in June 2023. Regional San has already received $14.4 million of early funding reimbursements. The final WSIP funding agreement for the remaining award is expected to be executed in late 2023. A $30 million U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) grant was also awarded to Regional San through multiple rounds of Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. Regional San is currently working with USBR on the grant agreement.


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.

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

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