In December 1960, Valley District, on behalf of the people in the San Bernardino valley, signed a historic contract with the State of California for an imported water supply through the State Water Project (SWP). Valley District would receive 46,000 acre-feet in 1972 which would gradually increase to a total of 98,000 acre-feet per year. Later, Valley District would acquire an additional 4,600 acre-feet per year to establish its annual entitlement to SWP water at 102,600 acre-feet. The actual amount of SWP water Valley District receives each year is based upon hydrologic conditions and other factors.
Valley District is the fifth largest of 29 State Water Contractors (SWC) that receive water from the SWP. Each SWC pays its proportionate share of the facilities necessary to deliver the water into their service area. This “fixed” cost (similar to a home mortgage) pays for the infrastructure and is paid year-in and year-out whether, or not, water is delivered. The costs were amortized over nearly 75 years ending in 2035. When the last payment is made, the people in the San Bernardino valley will have invested over $2.2 billion in this crucial infrastructure.
In addition to the fixed cost, Valley District also pays “variable” costs for the actual water delivered each year. The variable cost includes energy and operations costs.
More information on the history of water development and the State Water Project can be found at the California Department of Water Resources website.