Reclamation District No. 108 is located along the western edge of the Sacramento River and delivers water to nearly 48,000 acres of farmland within southern Colusa County and northern Yolo County. RD 108 receives water from the Sacramento River under riparian water rights, licenses for appropriation of surface water, and a Settlement Contract with the US Bureau of Reclamation. The first irrigated crops were grains, mostly barley but today include rice, wheat, corn, safflower, tomatoes, beans, vineseeds, cotton, walnuts and fruit.
The District was formed in 1870 under the Reclamation District Law of 1868 for the purpose of forming a district to build levees and “reclaim” land subject to periodic overflow from neighboring rivers and water bodies. At this time the Government was promoting reclamation to develop swamp lands for the improvement and cultivation of the thousands of acres in California. On October 4, 1870 the landowners submitted a petition to the Colusa and Yolo County Boards of Supervisors authorizing the formation of a new Reclamation District and assigned it the number 108.
RD 108 is surrounded on three sides by levees, that include the west-side levees from Colusa to Knights Landing along the Sacramento River, a Back Levee along the District’s western boundary to prevent flooding from the Colusa Basin, and then along the slough in the South that at one time took drainage water from the Colusa Basin back to the Sacramento River. The District works in coordination with the Sacramento River Westside Levee District and the Knights Landing Ridge Drainage District to maintain over 90 miles of levees. All of the levees were originally built by the local landowners using whatever materials available and whatever criteria they chose, but have since become part of the federally sponsored Sacramento Flood Control Project.