2020 Groundwater Transfer

In partnership with Fair Oaks Water District (FOWD), and other regional agencies, Carmichael Water District (District) will be participating in a groundwater substitution transfer from May 2020 through November 2020. During this timeframe, the District will be using its own groundwater sources as well as receiving additional groundwater from FOWD, which will allow a portion of the District’s surface water supplies to be sold downstream. The following provides further information regarding the process, benefits, and potential temporary water aesthetic changes:

Transfer Details

  • The District will temporarily transfer up to 2,000 acre feet (AF) of surface water which will be made available to purchasers
  • The District will increase production of its own groundwater sources during the transfer period
  • During the transfer, the District will also receive up to 2000 gallons per minute (gpm) of groundwater from FOWD from July 2020 thru September 2020
  • The area served from this additional source will primarily be north of Fair Oaks Blvd


  • Production costs associated with supplying groundwater are less than that associated with surface water
  • The sale of surface water helps generate additional revenue for the District.
    • This adds an additional resource for the District’s financial planning activities
  • The beneficial use of surface water helps to protect the District’s water rights

Groundwater Characteristics

  • The District typically increases its use of groundwater during the summer months
  • Groundwater is generally considered harder that surface water
    • This is due to a greater mineral content than surface water
    • In some cases, groundwater can cause mineral deposits to appear on glass and metal
    • When using soap, groundwater does not form a lather, or suds, as easily as surface water
  • As is standard practice, water supplied during this transfer time frame meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements established by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)