Water for Farms, Fish and People


San Mateo County’s south coast has no snowpack, no large municipal reservoirs, and no State water project. It is a rural community that relies on local water supplies to meet its needs. Farms, fish, and people depend upon the same limited water resources. During the recent unprecedented drought, some residents had to truck in water to drink, cook, and bathe. Farmers fallowed fields. Steelhead trout and endangered Coho salmon teetered on extinction as local creeks dried up. Local community water suppliers began water rationing. We began the Drought Relief Program, an ambitious initiative to:

  • Help farmers conserve, strategically manage, and store water.
  • Fix leaks and broken pipes in drinking water supply systems.
  • Improve water pumping, delivery and storage facilities.
  • Coordinate water users to balance demands on limited resources.
  • Restore water to creeks for threatened and endangered species.

The water use, infrastructure, and water management improvements that are part of this project will result in an estimated combined total of 6.55 million gallons of additional local water storage capacity and 51 million gallons per year of water conservation.

For a deeper dive into one project completed through our Drought Relief Program, check out the project that we completed with farmer Dave Repetto in 2016.

For other detailed information you can also check out this powerpoint presentation: Water For Farms Fish & People.


  • Trout Unlimited
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • San Mateo County


  • Proposition 84 from the CA Dept. of Water Resources via the Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management Plan
  • San Mateo County
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Proposition 1 from the Wildlife Conservation Board
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • California State Coastal Conservancy

RCD Contact: Jarrad Fisher