MMWD’s Mt. Tamalpais Watershed is the primary source of our drinking water. But our
responsibilities on Mt. Tam extend far beyond capturing, storing and delivering water.
As the largest public land manager on the mountain, MMWD has been working for
more than 20 years to reduce wildfire risk and help protect our communities. We built
and permanently maintain 1,000 acres of fuel breaks, focusing on neighborhoods on the
perimeter of the watershed. We’re also working with neighboring property owners to
encourage them to maintain 100 feet of defensible space around their homes, including
areas that cross the property boundaries into MMWD lands.
Through our Resilient Forests Project, we’re implementing innovative forest management
techniques. This includes using light-on-the-land tracked mowers to clear dense underbrush,
reducing the accumulated fuel load while also restoring the health of our forests. In 2018
alone, we invested $1 million in contract labor to help manage fuel breaks, forests and invasive
weeds on the watershed—equivalent to 20 full-time positions—and we expect to triple that
investment over the next five years. In addition, we’re working with PG&E to identify and
remove high-risk trees along power lines within watershed lands.
We’ve also invested in firefighting equipment,
developed training programs, and conduct regular
fire response drills for all our watershed rangers
and maintenance staff. We work closely with Marin
County Fire and our local fire departments to
manage fire risks and respond to emergencies. And
we’ve expanded our community outreach for Red
Flag and other critical fire weather events through
improved signage and social media alerts.
In addition to our work on Mt. Tam, since 1997 we’ve invested more than $100 million in
pipeline and other infrastructure improvements though our fire flow program to help ensure
our water is there when needed most. All of these efforts wouldn’t be possible without the
support of you, our customers. The watershed management fee on your water bill and the
fire flow parcel fee on your property tax bill help to fund this important work. Thank you!