Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston welcomed the crowd on hand for the dedication of the city's new water treatment plant.
ANN JOHNSTON: "This really is a red letter day, not only for Stockton, but for the region."
It's a plant that comes with a hefty price tag.
ANN JOHNSTON: "Well, it represents a huge investment in our future, a $217 million public works project, the largest that the city of Stockton has ever embarked upon, but it assures us an adequate, good, safe water supply."
Stockton is now taking water from the San Joaquin river, able to produce up to 30 million gallons of drinking water each day.
That lessens the need for water from overdrafted wells, or water supplied from New Melones and New Hogan reservoirs, which slow to a trickle in drought years.
However, Water Resources chief, Bob Grandberg says customers are paying more for the new supply
BOB GRANDBERG: " We increased water rates, first increase was in 2009, we phased that in over 4 years, this July 1st will be the last of those 4 steps, and the average residential bill went from about $32 to about $52 per month."
But Stockton won't go thirsty for at least the next 50 years.