The Sacramento California Region has long enjoyed ample water supplies and popular rivers providing esthetic, recreation and environmental resources. Ground and surface water supplies have been managed by twenty independent management agencies. In the 1980s and 1990s the region experienced dramatic population growth and increased water demand. Environmental organizations sought to preserve the environmental values of the Lower American River. Six years of negotiation resulted in the Water Forum Agreement, a memorandum of understanding signed by business and agricultural leaders, citizens groups, environmentalists, water managers, and local governments to fulfill two co-equal objectives: (i) to provide a reliable and safe water supply for the region's economic health and planned development to the year 2030; and (ii) to preserve the fishery, wildlife, recreational, and aesthetic values of the Lower American River. This paper describes three major parameters guiding the water future of the Sacramento Region, which may be a model for other regions of the world: (1) the seven policy elements of the Water Forum Agreement; (2) the Regional Water Authority (RWA) and the Sacramento Groundwater Authority help to implement the policies of the Water Forum Agreement; (3) RWA's regional water efficiency program provides “pick and choose” water efficiency measures to twenty water suppliers in three counties.

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