Upper Santa Ana River Watershed IRWMP

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Table 5 IRWMP Project Prioritization Form - Rev 061715


In 2005, the Upper Santa Ana Water Resources Association (Association) agreed to develop an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWM Plan) to address major water management issues for the communities of the Upper Santa Ana River Watershed. San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (Valley District), as the regional water agency, agreed to lead the planning effort and received a grant from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to prepare this plan. The main benefit of the plan is the development of a process for managing the San Bernardino Basin Area. A secondary benefit is to identify regional projects and to receive grant funding for these projects. The plan is being carefully developed through the participation of water managers and stakeholders. Two management objectives have been developed during the planning process. The first management objective is to improve water reliability during drought periods and reduce liquefaction. The second management objective is to protect water quality and maximize conjunctive use opportunities. Computer models are being used to evaluate the various water management strategies which may be used in the basin.

Planning Area
The IRWM Plan Area (Region) encompasses Big Bear Lake and the headwaters of the SAR until it reaches the Riverside Narrows and includes the cities and communities of San Bernardino, Yucaipa, Redlands, Highland, Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, Loma Linda, and Riverside. The Region covers 824 sq. mi., approximately 32 percent of the total Santa Ana River watershed, and is located in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The climate in the Region is characterized by relatively hot, dry summers and cool winters with intermittent precipitation.

The San Bernardino Basin Area (SBBA) is the Focus of the IRWM Plan and plays a central role in the water supply for communities within the Region. The SBBA has a surface area of approximately 140.6 sq. mi. and lies between the San Andreas and San Jacinto faults. The basin is bordered on the northwest by the San Gabriel Mountains and Cucamonga fault zone; on the northeast by the San Bernardino Mountains and San Andreas Fault zone; on the east by the Banning fault and Crafton Hills; and on the south by a low, east-facing escarpment of the San Jacinto fault and the San Timoteo Badlands. Alluvial fans extend from the base of the mountains and hills that surround the valley and coalesce to form a broad, sloping alluvial plain in the central part of the valley. The SBBA traditionally refers to two groundwater basins: Bunker Hill and Lytle Creek. The Bunker Hill Basin is further divided into sub-areas, including the Cajon, City Creek, Devil Canyon, Divide, Lytle Creek, Mill Creek, Pressure Zone, Redlands, and Reservoir sub-areas.

An objective of this IRWM Plan is to develop tools that might be used by water agencies to manage the groundwater levels in the Pressure Zone to reduce the risk of liquefaction in the area. Specific Basin Management Objectives will be developed to manage the basin in order to reduce the associated risks.

Technical Advisory Group (TAG)

The Association is composed of agencies in the Upper SAR watershed that share a common concern for the region’s surface and groundwater resources. In 2005, nine members of the Association met and formed a Regional Water Management Group for the purpose of developing an IRWM Plan. The Regional Water Management Group is called the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). As the regional lead agency, Valley District is coordinating development of the IRWM Plan.

Members of TAG include:

  • San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District – Lead Agency
  • City of Redlands Municipal Utilities Department
  • City of Riverside Municipal Utilities Department
  • East Valley Water District
  • Fontana Union Water Company
  • San Bernardino County Flood Control District
  • San Bernardino Municipal Water Department
  • San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District
  • West Valley Water District
  • Yucaipa Valley Water District
  • Water Resource Institute, California State University, San Bernardino (WRI)

The TAG meets the first and third Monday of every month at 2:00PM. The first meeting of the month is a conference call and the second meeting of the month is held at the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Headquarters. Please call Bob Tincher at (909) 387-9215 if you would like more information.

Other Regional Water Agencies and Stakeholders include:
  • San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors
  • Bear Valley Mutual Water Company
  • Big Bear Municipal Water District
  • City of Colton
  • City of Fontana
  • City of Loma Linda
  • City of Rialto
  • Marygold Mutual Water Company
  • Muscoy Mutual Water Company
  • Regents of the University of California
  • Riverside Highland Water Company
  • San Bernardino County Flood Control District
  • Riverside Flood Control and Water Conservation District
  • Orange County Flood Control District
  • San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency
  • San Timoteo Watershed Management Authority
  • Terrace Water Company
  • Western Heights Mutual Water Company

Watershed-Based Stakeholders:
  • Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) and its member agencies (Eastern Municipal Water District, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Orange County Water District, Valley District, and Western Municipal Water District (Western))
  • Western-San Bernardino Watermaster (represented by district managers of Valley District and Western)

State and Federal Stakeholders:
  • California Department of Fish and Game
  • California Department of Health Services
  • California Department of Toxic Substances Control
  • California Department of Water Resources
  • Regional Water Quality Control Board
  • Southern California Edison
  • State Water Resources Control Board
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Forest Service

Coordination with other Plans
This IRWM Plan was developed in coordination with Western, San Jacinto River Watershed Council, and SAWPA, and will become part of the SAWPA regional plan for the SAR watershed. A representative from SAWPA participated in the TAG meetings and actively engaged in the discussions. A representative from Western was also invited and attended the regular meetings of the TAG.

The San Jacinto Watershed Council, although not a participant in the TAG, also received briefings on development of the plan and a copy of the draft IRWM Plan was provided to the council for review and comment.

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