The Congress Valley Water District (CVWD) was formed in 1949 to provide
water service to the unincorporated community of Congress Valley; a rural
residential area located immediately west of Napa. CVWD’s formation was
engendered by area landowners in response to diminishing groundwater
supplies principally attributed at the time to the development and irrigation
of vineyards throughout the surrounding areas.
CVWD’s formation was completed in 1949 and directly followed by Napa agreeing to provide annual water supplies so long as the District constructed its own distribution system with an intertie to the City. Towards this end, CVWD voters approved a special assessment in 1950 authorizing the District to sell $100,000 in bonds to construct an initial distribution system. Napa reciprocated and agreed to a contract with CVWD one year later providing the District with up to 368 acre-feet of potable water annually through 1975. Low assessed values, however, limited CVWD to selling only $38,000 in bonds to fund the distribution system to serve the then-estimated population of 80. The substantive result was the construction of an initial distribution system limited to one pump station, two- to four-inch water lines, and two storage tanks with a combined capacity of 15,000 gallons.
The distribution system was rebuilt in 1987 and coincided with a new 30-year water supply agreement with the City of Napa. Funding for this system was provided through a loan from the State of California and repaid through a portion of each parcel owner's property taxes.
The 1987 agreement stipulates that CVWD agrees to dissolve and turn over all assets to the City of Napa in July 2017. At that time CVWD negotiated a five-year extension to this contract. Formal contract negotiations to negotiate an amendment to the water supply contract with CVWD. are scheduled to resume in January, 2021 per the agreement with the City of Napa and CVWD.
What We Do Today
CVWD retains ownership of the distribution system and collects a share of the property tax, which covers board expenses, legal and financial services. The district is also able to offset a portion of the City’s rates for CVWD residents by paying the difference between the resident rates charged by the City and the non-resident rates charged to connections outside of the city limits.