About Us

About Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority - SAWPA


The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) was formed in 1968 as a joint power authority under California law, composed of five member agencies; Eastern Municipal Water District, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Orange County Water District, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, and Western Municipal Water District.

SAWPA focuses on a broad range of water resource issues including water supply reliability, water quality improvement, recycled water, wastewater treatment, groundwater management, brine disposal, and integrated regional planning.

Its stated mission is to develop and maintain regional plans, programs, and projects that will protect the Santa Ana River basin water resources to maximize beneficial uses within the watershed in an economically and environmentally responsible manner.

About the Inland Empire Brine Line


The Inland Empire Brine Line is an effective and economical way to dispose of salty wastewater, which is sometimes produced through manufacturing and water treatment processes. Salt removal is important for protecting water quality and meeting regulatory requirements. Like much of the Inland Empire, wastewater treatment plants in inland areas have total dissolved solids (TDS) restrictions, which may prevent your industry from discharging its waste to the municipal sewer.

The Brine Line removes 500,000 pounds of salt per day from the watershed by transporting salty wastewater to a wastewater treatment plant operated by the Orange County Sanitation District. After treatment, the water is discharged into the Pacific Ocean. With the Brine Line, businesses can now dispose of salty wastewater locally at a substantial cost savings, without trucking it outside of the region.

About One Water One Watershed - OWOW


The purpose of the One Water One Watershed (OWOW) Program is to encourage integrated management of water resources and provide funding for multi-benefit projects that support watershed sustainability. OWOW is part of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Program which promotes collaborative planning and water resources management.

OWOW integrates different disciplines such as: water supply, water quality, recycled water, stormwater management, water use efficiency, land use, energy use, climate change, and habitat, while Disadvantaged Communities and Native American tribal community water issues receive special focus.

Through this integration, participants conduct regional planning and produce shared goals and integrated thinking. When it comes time to implement projects, because the plan was crafted together, those projects have multiple benefits that reflect the interests of all.

About SAWPA Roundtables & Task Forces

A forum for joint management efforts to address watershed issues and regulatory challenges.


SAWPA Roundtables, also known as Task Forces, provide a forum for joint water resource management efforts to address watershed issues and regulatory compliance. The SAWPA Roundtables operate under formal and informal agreements, often with the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board as a member, and are designed to work cooperatively with the regulated community to address water quality issues. The Roundtables have a long and strong track record of partnerships with organizations with shared interests pursing overall watershed sustainability.

The Roundtables create value among regulators, regulated parties, and SAWPA members by facilitating stakeholder pro-cesses for collaboration, producing significant cost savings through joint efforts to address water management issues. SAWPA serves as administrator and provides both regional capacity and a neutral venue for Roundtable collaboration and watershed planning.

Water Use Efficiency Info and Tools to Assist Retail Water Agencies


New tools and assistance are available from SAWPA to help water agencies in the Santa Ana River Watershed implement water use efficiency programs and conservation-based rate structures. The tools focus on demand management, customer engagement and compliance with new water use efficiency legislation signed by the Governor in May 2018, which will affect your agency.