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Electric and Waste Water Utility Collaboration Examples from California's Capital: SMUD and SRCSD

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The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (SRCSD) and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) have a long history of mutually beneficial research and development and operational project collaborations. While their physical boundaries and the regions they serve are similar, the two districts are each governed by unique, publicly elected boards of directors with distinct organizational missions and operations. SMUD's ownership of the Upper American River Project (UARP), a nearly 700MW hydroelectric power generation system, give it a close perspective on energy and water issues that impact the Sacramento Valley. SRCSD is the largest inland discharger in California and therefore plays a key role in Northern California water quality issues. The agencies have overcome institutional obstacles and collaborated on a number of past projects with important economic and environmental benefits to the Sacramento region. More operational and joint research projects are at various stages of the planning pipeline. This paper discusses the current policy and regulatory priorities of each organization, past joint projects, and the potential future collaborative efforts under joint exploration.
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Keywords: Electricity; Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; anaerobic digestion; carbon reduction; co-digestion; cogeneration; electrical generation; hydroelectric generation; tertiary treatment; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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