SCWA was formed in 1951 by an Act of the State Legislature and represents all the local agencies involved in water and flood management. The SCWA Board of Directors is composed of the five members of the Solano County Board of Supervisors, the seven mayors of the cities in Solano County, and a director from each of the three agricultural districts that provide retail agricultural water supply.
SCWA is a wholesale water supply agency providing untreated water to cities and agricultural districts in Solano County from the Federal Solano Project and the North Bay Aqueduct of the Water Project. In addition, the agency performs flood management as well as habitat conservation activities.
The boundaries of the Solano County Water Agency include the entire County of Solano, the property of the University of California at Davis in Yolo County and approximately 2,800 acres of Reclamation District No. 2068 that is in Yolo County. The Agency was originally formed by an act of the State Legislature as the "Solano County Flood Control and Water Conservation District". The full text of the legislative act, as amended, is in the California Water Code Appendix Chapter 64 entitled the "Solano County Water Agency Act".
As originally established, the Board of Supervisors of Solano County was the governing board (ex-officio) of the Solano County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (SCFC&WCD). As with other countywide flood control and water conservation districts established about that same time, the SCFC&WCD was given water supply and flood control authorities. The first major action of the SCFC&WCD was to contract with the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) for water supply from the Solano Project.
In 1988, the legislative act was changed to modify the governing board of the SCFC&WCD and to make other minor updates to the act. In 1989 the name of SCFC&WCD was changed to the "Solano County Water Agency" (SCWA). The change in the governing board of SCWA was very significant. In addition to the five members of the Board of Supervisors, the mayors from all seven cities in the County were added and a board member from each of the three agricultural irrigation districts (Solano Irrigation District, Maine Prairie Water District and Reclamation District No. 2068) was added. The three agricultural districts were added because those districts provide retail water service to their constituents. During the 1988-89 time period, the governing board made a decision to hire a staff independent of the County. Previously the County Transportation Department and other County departments provided staff and administrative services. In October of 1989 SCWA hired its first employee, the General Manager. Additional employees were added starting in 1990.
The authorities of SCWA fall into two main categories: water supply and flood control. The water supply function consists of providing wholesale, untreated water supply to cities, districts and state agencies. Additionally, SCWA leads efforts to protect rights to existing sources of water and participates in efforts to secure new sources of water for water supply reliability and future growth in the County.
For flood control, SCWA is responsible for operations and maintenance of the Ulatis Flood Control Project and the Green Valley Flood Control Project. SCWA also has authority to deal with all flood control matters within the boundaries of SCWA.