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What You Talking ‘Bout? March 2024

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By Don A. Wright

It has come to our attention from new and old readers, there is a trash can full of abbreviations, initials, acronyms and in general, the alphabet soup of jargon in the water world. In a perhaps vain but well intended effort to sort things out we provide the following list of common water abbreviations. But first, let’s take a look at the differences just forLidco Inc. fun.

According to an article at the Readers Digest all initials and acronyms are abbreviations, but not all abbreviations are initials or acronyms. Clear? We didn’t think so either, so here goes an explanation.

Abbreviations are shortening of words with the examples of Ave. for Avenue and Dec. for December given. Initials are taking the first letters from a multiple word name and stringing them together. For example: USBR for the United State Bureau of Reclamation or DWR for Department of Water Resources. An acronym is also an initial but the initials form a word that comes into common usage. Two examples are: NASA for National Aeronautics & Space Administration and one we all know – SGMA for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

As a rule, we try to always spell out jargon (The specialized language of a trade, profession, or similar group, especially when viewed as difficult to understand by outsidersAmerican Heritage Dictionary, we no longer trust Merriam Webster) on first usage. Then use the abbreviations. Sometimes that slips by. Sorry.

Some style guides want the word spelled out and the abbreviations in parenthesis on first usage. Like this, “. . . the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) had a time of it.” But we think it clutters things up and our readers on average are smarter and better looking anyway, so they don’t need to be led around by such a fine point.

While we’re on the subject of style – at WaterWrights quotations are in quotation marks and attributed. You’ll see a lot of paraphrasing such as –Boris said the snowpack last August wasn’t all it could be.Technoflo

That is very different than – Dr. Kashmiri Boris said, “Multiple readings from a snow survey conducted last August at the higher elevations had elusive results due to varying and unaccounted parameters.”

Just remember, “If it’s not in quotes and attributed, it’s not a quote,” said the editors. Now then, here it is, a list to help us along. Also, if you have suggestions to add to things we may have missed we welcome the opportunity of hearing from you.


A List of Water Related Abbreviations, Acronyms & Initials – ALoWRAAaI


AB – Assembly Bill

ACE – Army Corps of Engineers

ACWA – Association of California Water Agencies

AEWSD or Arvin – Arvin Edison Water Storage District

a/f – acre feet, some engineering resources use a-f

ASO – Airborne Snow Observatory


BBID – Byron Bethany Irrigation District

BLM – Bureau of Land Management

BVWSD – Buena Vista Water Storage District


Cal Poly SLO – California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo

CCC – Columbia Canal Company

CCID – Central California Irrigation District

CEO – Chief Executive Officer

CEQA – California Environmental Quality Act

cfs – cubic feet per second

CF&W – California Fish & Wildlife

CID – Consolidated Irrigation District

CIT – Center for Irrigation Technology

CVC – Cross Valley Canal

CVP – Central Valley Project

CVRWQCB – Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board

CVS or CV Salts – Central Valley Salts

CWA – California Women for Ag, California Water Alliance

CWC – California Water Commission, Community Water Center

CWD – Chowchilla Water District, Cawelo Water District

CWF – California Water Fix

CWI – California Water Institute


D – The letter “D” by itself can mean Decision

DEID – Delano Earlimart Irrigation District

DMC – Delta Mendota Canal

DWR – Department of Water Resources


E&O – Errors & Omissions; sometimes O&E insurance

EC – Electro Conductivity

EKGSA – East Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Area

EPA – Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Protection Act

ET – Evapotranspiration

ETGSA – Eastern Tule GSA

Ex Con – San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority


FCWD – Firebaugh Canal Water District

FFA – Family Farm Alliance, Future Farmers of America

FID – Fresno Irrigation District

FKC – Friant Kern Canal

FOG – Friant Operations Guidelines

FSU – Fresno State University

FWA – Friant Water Authority


GCID – Glenn Colusa Irrigation District

GFID – Gravely Ford Irrigation District

GKGSA – Greater Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Area

GM – General Manager

GSA – Groundwater Sustainability Agency

GSP – Groundwater Sustainability Plan


HR – House of Representatives Bill

HSR – High Speed Rail


ID – Irrigation District

ID3 – Improvement District Three

ID4 – Improvement District Four

ITRC – Irrigation Technology Research Center


JDA – Joint Defense Agreement

JID – James Irrigation District

JPA – Joint Powers Authority

JPIA – Joint Powers Insurance Authority


KBWQA – Kaweah Basin Water Quality Association

KCWA – Kern County Water Agency

KDWD – Kern Delta Water District

KGA – Kern Groundwater Association

KGAGSA – Kern Groundwater Association GSA

KRGSA – Kern River Groundwater Sustainability Agency

KTWD – Kern Tulare Water District

KWBA – Kern Water Bank Authority

KWB – Kern Water Bank


LAFCo – Local Agency Formation Commission

LTRID – Lower Tule River Irrigation District


M&I – Municipal & Industrial

MPG – Mendota Pool Group

MET or MWD – Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

MID – Madera Irrigation District, Merced Irrigation District, Modesto Irrigation District

MOA – Memorandum Of Agreement

MOU – Memorandum Of Understanding

MPSA – Master Professional Services Agreement


NASA – National Aeronautics & Space Administration

NCWA – Northern California Water Association

NEPA – National Environmental Protection Act

NFKGSA – North Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency

NKGSA – North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency

NKWSD – North Kern Water Storage District

NMFS – National Marine Fishery Service

NOAA – National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

NRCD – Natural Resource Conservation District

NRDC – Natural Resource Defense Council


O&M – Operations & Maintenance

OHV – Off Highway Vehicle


PID – Pixley Irrigation District or Porterville Irrigation District

PPIC – Public Policy Institute of California

PSP – Proposed Solicitation Package


RFP – Request For Proposal

RFQ – Request for Qualifications

RRBWSD or Rosedale – Rosedale Rio Bravo Water Storage District

RWQCB or Regional Board – Regional Water Quality Control Board


SB – Senate Bill

SCVWD – Santa Clara Valley Water District

SGMA – Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014

SID – Saucelito Irrigation District

SJR – San Joaquin River

SJRECWA – San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority

SJRRP – San Joaquin River Restoration Program

SLCC – San Luis Canal Company

SLDMWA – San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority

SSJMUD – South San Joaquin Municipal Utility District

SWSD –  Semitropic Water Storage District

SVWA – South Valley Water Association

SWID – Shafter Wasco Irrigation District

SWP – State Water Project

SWRCB or State Board – State Water Resources Control Board


TAC – Technical Advisory Committee

TBID – Terra Bella Irrigation District

TID – Tulare Irrigation District, Tranquillity Irrigation District, Turlock Irrigation District

TIE – Technology, Innovation, Evaluation part of FSU’s WET Center


USACE – United State Army Corps of Engineers also ACE and Army Corps

USBR – United States Bureau of Reclamation

USDA – United States Department of Agriculture

USFS – United States Forestry Service

USFWS – United States Fish & Wildlife Service

USJRBSI – Upper San Joaquin River Basin Storage Investigation


WD – Water District

WCD – Water Conservation District

WET Center – Water Energy Technology Center, part of FSU’s Blue Valley Tech Program

WKWD – West Kern Water District

WRMWSD – Wheeler Ridge Maricopa Water Storage District

WSD – Water Storage District

WSIP – Water Storage Investment Program

WWD – Westlands Water District


X2 – X2 salt barrier in the Delta


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