Water Education Foundation

San Mateo

San Mateo gets its water from these sources.
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Other Major Water Systems

Other Major Water Systems

A number of large population centers in California have developed their own extensive water projects. The Hetch Hetchy Project transports Tuolumne River water 156 miles from the Central Sierra to San Francisco and peninsula cities.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District supplies cities on the east side of San Francisco Bay with Mokelumne River water.

Aqueducts built by the City of Los Angeles draw water from the Owens River, Mono Lake Basin and reservoirs on the east slopes of the southern Sierra. In Los Angeles, a 223-mile aqueduct completed in 1913 has served as a major water supply source, conveying water from the Owens River in the eastern Sierra. A second aqueduct, completed in 1970, added another 50 percent capacity to the water system. The two aqueducts deliver an average of 430 million gallons a day to the city.

Local Streams and Reservoirs

Local Streams and Reservoirs

Many cities rely on local water projects for all or a portion of their supplies. These projects typically were built and are operated by local public water districts, county water departments, city water departments or other special districts. Nearly 600 special purpose local agencies in California provide water to their areas through local development projects and imported supplies. A number of local agencies may also operate flood control and wastewater treatment facilities in addition to providing drinking water. Local water agencies usually are formed by a vote of the community, operate as public organizations, are governed by elected directors and fund their projects through bond issues.

In some communities, water is provided by private companies. Approximately 6 million Californians are served by these investor-owned utilities, which are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission. The PUC monitors operations and service, sets water rates, and enforces water quality standards set by state and federal regulators.