× Close Ad

Solano County Water Agency rejects continuing conversations with California Forever

California Forever offered to pay for a study to be done on waterways in Solano County to start conversations about how to get water to their proposed city.
Author: Devin Trubey, Krys Shahin
Published: 11:13 PM PST November 9, 2023
Updated: 11:13 PM PST November 9, 2023

SOLANO COUNTY, Calif — The Solano County Water Agency decided they would cease conversations with California Forever during a lengthy and packed meeting Thursday night.

While not actually a voting item on the meeting’s agenda, the board decided they would not continue to entertain the request by California Forever — which asked for a study to be done on water resources in the county and the use of the North Bay Aqueduct for their proposed new city in Solano County.

"That's not how we operate, we are not protecting the public if we are going to make decisions on a project we have no idea what it looks like," said one board member during the meeting.

Councilmember John Vasquez was in the minority opinion for the board and was one of only three members to vote to continue conversations with California Forever, the parent company to Flannery Associates who is now the largest land owner in Solano County.

"This is not about their project, we have to move that pipeline regardless, if someone wants to help us pay for it, well okay," said Vasquez during the meeting.

Jan Sramek, CEO and founder of California Forever, offered to pay for the studies of the aqueduct and share their findings with the board rather than let Solano County residents front the cost or work alone on the project.

"[We want to] study it to see if we can make the pipeline bigger," said Sramek. "We will buy separate water. I want to repeat that, separate water from people outside Solano County."

Solano County gets its water from Lake Berryessa, the state-run North Bay Aqueduct, and groundwater. The board says the aqueduct’s water is decreasing, meaning there’s no available water to give to California Forever and would take from cities already receiving it.

Sramek says the new city would get enough water from the Sacramento River and other sources, they just want to use the aqueduct — which supplies water to the nearby Travis Air Force Base — to get it there.

The council listened to hours of public comment from dozens of residents packing the room in Vacaville and over Zoom, which maxed out its 100-person capacity within minutes of the meeting starting.

Duane Kromm, a former Solano County Water Agency member, spoke during public comment to express his disinterest in working with California Forever and accepting their offer of money.

"It’s blackmail. They are timeshare salesmen, ‘you can take the deal now or it’s gone forever,'" he said.

Others encouraged the board to hear the proposal out, especially if it wasn’t at Solano County residents' expense.

The agency says they have not received any official request from Flannery Associates or California Forever for water at this time. They have also created a group to handle the proposed land swap which will begin meeting next month.

Keep up with ABC10’s coverage of the proposed new city HERE.

ABC10: Watch, Download, Read

1 / 8
Credit: ABC10
Download the ABC10 app for weather forecast localized to where you are. Plus, track storms with live radar.