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Metropolitan Board Approves Agreement Delivering Water Reliability to Sycuan Tribe

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Agreement supplies water to un-annexed area of San Diego Reservation

An agreement that will help boost water reliability for the Sycuan Band
of the Kumeyaay Nation in San Diego County was approved today by the
board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern
California.

Through the water service agreement between Metropolitan, the Sycuan
tribe, San Diego County Water Authority and Padre Dam Municipal Water
District, water will be delivered to 227 acres of developed land on the
Sycuan Indian Reservation, located in an unincorporated area of San
Diego County, just east of El Cajon. The federally recognized tribe has
historically relied on independent groundwater supplies to serve this
portion of its reservation and sought a more reliable supply.

"Metropolitan delivers about 85 percent of the water used in San Diego
County. It is important for the Sycuan tribe to have access to the same
high-quality, reliable water supply enjoyed by the rest of the region,"
said Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger.

Although more recently acquired land on the reservation is serviced by
the Padre Dam Municipal Water District and the Otay Water District, the
tribe's original 640-acre reservation, including the 227 acres served
under this agreement, were never annexed by any water district, leaving
the tribe to rely on groundwater for that portion of the reservation.

"As a responsible government providing a wide range of services to the
public – including law enforcement, firefighting and healthcare – the
Sycuan tribe requires a dependable water supply. This agreement with
Metropolitan and our local water agencies provides that – to our tribal
members, employees, customers, and residents – and further ensures
Sycuan's leadership role in creating positive economic opportunities
throughout the region," said Sycuan Tribal Chairman Cody Martinez.

"Metropolitan has an established record of finding cooperative ways to
deliver water to tribes in our service area, including agreements with
the Soboba, Pechanga, and now the Sycuan," said Metropolitan board
Chairman Randy Record. "This action represents our commitment to
supporting the communities we serve throughout Southern California."

A state law passed in 2016 (AB 2470, Gonzalez) facilitated the
agreement, allowing for the delivery of and payment for water without
requiring that the land be fully annexed. Under the agreement, Sycuan
will follow all the same terms and conditions and receive the same
service as other Metropolitan customers. The agreement is similar to a
water supply agreement approved in 2016 with the Pechanga Band of
Luiseno Mission Indians.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a
state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving
nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water
from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local
supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation,
recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.

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