Moraga: EBMUD buys 604 acres to protect tap water quality

MORAGA — Nearly a square mile of scenic grazing land and oak forests in the Moraga hills is being purchased as a pollution buffer to protect a major East Bay drinking water reservoir and provide public hiking areas.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District agreed this week to spend $4.5 million to buy the 604-acre Carr Ranch from the John Muir Land Trust in an unusual partnership deal between the conservation group and public water supplier for 1.4 million people.

The water district will own and maintain the land to manage wildlife and protect against pollution and silt runoff into the Upper San Leandro Reservoir, a major drinking water source for EBMUD customers on the west side of the Oakland-Berkeley hills.

The Martinez-based land trust will manage the land to provide low-key recreation such as hiking, wildlife viewing and enjoying scenic views of San Francisco and Suisun bays