Water Master Plan Update Program EIR

The Town of Windsor Public Works Department (Town) updated its Water Master Plan (WMP) to more accurately describe the Town’s current and future water supply needs. The WMP established a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) of projects to efficiently and reliably meet anticipated water demand. The CIP includes new and replacement groundwater wells, water storage tanks, and distribution pipelines. Additionally, the WMP included a groundwater management plan to collect, inject, and store winter surplus surface flows in the aquifer beneath the Town for later use during the dry season or in dry years. Horizon Water and Environment (Horizon) is assisting the Town with securing seasonal surface water rights to support the managed groundwater program.

Horizon prepared the EIR to evaluate potential effects from the water system infrastructure upgrades and the managed groundwater program. Horizon developed a two-scale approach for CEQA compliance to satisfy the immediate and long-term goals of the program. The EIR evaluated program-level effects of implementing the entire WMP, as well as project-level impacts to building the first phase of water system upgrades. Horizon advised the Town on water rights negotiations with the State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) Division of Water Rights. Horizon conducted an in-depth water rights impact analysis for SWRCB use in considering the Town’s water rights application. The water rights impact analysis closely evaluated potential effects of the groundwater management plan on beneficial uses and groundwater supplies.