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San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Issues Its First Annual Report

The report describes water projects, programs, investments and collaborative efforts in 2018 to ensure the reliability of local water supplies

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Aug. 27, 2019 — San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District plans to issue its first annual report in September, which will highlight key projects and strategies the district is pursuing to ensure the ongoing reliability of local water supplies.

            “This is the first annual report of its kind where we try to provide easy-to-read updates on everything we are doing to ensure that water agencies across the San Bernardino and Yucaipa Valleys have enough water to meet their needs,” said T. Milford Harrison, Valley District’s Board President.

            Unlike retail water agencies, which provide water service directly to homes and businesses, Valley District’s primary missions are to ensure that western San Bernardino County water agencies have enough water to meet their customers’ needs; to maintain the integrity of the local groundwater basin; and to work collaboratively with other agencies to purchase additional water whenever possible to maximize the reliability of local water supplies.

            Valley District imports about 25 percent of western San Bernardino County’s water supplies from Northern California through the State Water Project. The water is used for both direct deliveries to water agencies and to recharge the local groundwater basin.

            Valley District has also designed and built a state-of-the-art network of pipelines, pump stations, reservoirs and canals that efficiently deliver water throughout the San Bernardino and Yucaipa Valleys for groundwater recharge as well as direct use by other water agencies.

            The annual report highlights several projects that Valley District has pursued during the past year to meet its water supply objectives. These include projects designed to make more efficient use of local water supplies, including:

 — The First Phase of the Enhanced Recharge Project: This involves the first set of improvements to capture and use Santa Ana River stormwater that has been captured by Valley District and Western Municipal Water District under two new water rights permits the agencies obtained 10 years ago. The improvements include construction of a 700-foot-long by 140-foot-wide sedimentation basin just below Seven Oaks Dam, allowing sediment to settle out of the water before it moves downstream to existing and proposed groundwater recharge basins to increase local water storage.

— The Establishment of a Local Resources Investment Program: Valley District launched this program to provide financial support and incentives to local water agencies with a goal of securing a net increase of 15,000 acre-feet of supplemental water each year. The first agency to take advantage of this program is East Valley Municipal Water District, which is building a recycled water facility that will produce up to 11,000 acre-feet of recycled water per year. The facility, called the Sterling Natural Resource Center, is expected to begin producing recycled water in 2021.

             In addition to discussing specific infrastructure projects, the annual report highlights Valley District’s lead role in developing the Upper Santa Ana River Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) in collaboration with 13 other water, environmental protection and flood control agencies.

            The plan provides a comprehensive framework for expanding and improving environmental protections and habitat for threatened and endangered species in order for water agencies to obtain the necessary permits authorizing the construction, operation and maintenance of current and future water supply projects.

            One project within the framework of the HCP was the construction of captive breeding raceways for Santa Ana suckers by the Riverside Corona Resource Conservation District with funding from Valley District. The suckers that are raised through the captive breeding program will be used to create new populations of suckers in various locations in upper watershed streams.

            The annual report also highlights Valley District’s involvement in and support for the newly formed Groundwater Council for the San Bernardino Basin Area, which provides local agencies with a mechanism for pooling their resources to purchase additional water imports to help recharge the local groundwater basin. Last year, the Groundwater Council purchased and delivered 18,000 acre-feet of water to the basin.

            Valley District’s annual report is available in the lobby of the district’s office at 380 E. Vanderbilt Way in San Bernardino. To obtain the report electronically click here. To stay up to date on District news and events, follow us on Facebook (@SBValleyDistrict) and Twitter (@SBVMWD).

 

About San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District

Valley District is a State Water contractor that provides supplemental water to 14 retail water agencies from Fontana to Yucaipa, meeting the water needs of over 700,000 business and residential customers.  In addition to providing supplemental water from Northern California, Valley District is responsible for long-range water planning throughout its 350 square mile service area, including importing supplemental water, groundwater management, and wastewater and storm water disposal.

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