On March 20, 2007, the State Water Resources Control Board approved $25 million in grants to the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) to build needed infrastructure in the Santa Ana River Watershed. This funding comes from the voter-approved Proposition 50, the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002, from the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) projects. This grant funding supported by $ 141 million in local match were used to construct the following seven water improvement projects.
Projects Awarded Under Prop 50 Funds
Eastern Municipal Water District – Grant Amount: $4,900,000
The Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) San Jacinto Valley Regional Water Reclamation Facility Title 22 Tertiary Upgrade and Influent Equalization Basin project will expand and improve the treatment capability of the SJVRWRF. Upgrades to tertiary treatment at the SJVRWRF will allow EMWD to maintain and expand its current water recycling program, as land use changes resulting from rapid residential development significantly reduce opportunities of reuse secondary effluent. Additionally, expanded reuse of municipal irrigation will reduce local demand for imported water and support a regional Groundwater Management Plan effort through the use of recycled water to irrigate high-value agricultural crops in-lieu of local groundwater supplies.
Inland Empire Utilities Agency – Grant Amount: $4,900,000
The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) RP-4/Etiwanda Avenue Reservoir and Pump Station Project will construct infrastructure to pump, convey, store and deliver recycled water for a large portion of IEUA’s regional system. This project is a component of IEUA’s Regional Recycled Water Program, which will ultimately develop facilities to deliver up to 100,000 acre-feet of recycled water for groundwater recharge and direct reuse annually. Recycled water delivered from this system will directly reduce imported water demands and provides the reliable water supply to sustain the region in drought years.
Orange County Water District – Grant Amount: $2,352,000
The Orange County Water District (OCWD) Burris Pit Recharge Basin Reconfiguring Project by will enhance the basin’s ability to be cleaned and therefore increase the yield of the Orange County Groundwater Basin. On average more than 50,000 acre-feet of SAR flow is lost per year to the ocean due to insufficient recharge capacity. Improving the recharge capability of Burris Basin will allow more Santa Ana River (SAR) water to be recharged into the Orange County Groundwater Basin rather than being lost to the ocean.
Santa Ana Watershed Association – Grant Amount: $2,548,000
Arundo Removal and Habitat Restoration by the Santa Ana Watershed Association will remove Arundo and restore approximately six hundred (600) acres of habitat in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties from approximately Interstate 15 to the Prado Dam and along Devils Canyon Creek. The removal of Arundo from the Santa Ana Watershed restores ecological function of habitat along the riparian corridor, and provides increased surface water flow. Arundo removal will include removal of re-growth for up to five years following the initial removal.
San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District – Grant Amount: $980,000
The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (SBVMWD) Central Feeder Project, Phase 1 will construct infrastructure to pump, convey, store and deliver water for a large portion of SBVMWD’s regional system. This project is a component of SBVMWD’s Central Feeder Project, which will ultimately develop facilities necessary to convey groundwater extracted from the San Bernardino Basin Area (Bunker Hill Basin) easterly to water purveyors within the eastern portion of the SBVMWD and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) Inland Feeder. This project will help drought proof the area, protect water quality and help reduce imported water.
Western Municipal Water District – Grant Amount: $4,900,000
Construction of the Northern Reach and Southern Reach, Phases 1 and 2 of the Riverside Corona Feeder Project by Western Municipal Water District (WMWD) will provide infrastructure to transfer water within WMWD’s service area. This project is a component of WMWD’s Riverside Corona Feeder Project, which when completed will provide infrastructure to deliver approximately 40,000 Acre-Feet per year (AFY) of recharged groundwater from the San Bernardino Area located in the upper areas of the Santa Ana River Basin through WMWD’s service area. The Riverside Corona Feeder will reduce the District’s dependency on imported water through a process to bank water in the upper areas of the Santa Ana River basin as well as to facilitate conveyance of desalted groundwater from the Arlington and Chino Basins to WMWD’s service area. The banked excess State Water Project water, purchased at a lower cost during hydrological wet years, would be transferred and percolated by WMWD in the upper areas of the Santa Ana River basin and then retrieved in the future for use during periods of drought.
Yucaipa Valley Water District – Grant Amount: $3,920,000
The Yucaipa Valley Water District (YVWD) Regional Water Supply Renewal Project will construct a brine disposal pipeline, which will eventually connect into SAWPA’s existing brine disposal pipeline, the Santa Ana Regional Interceptor (SARI). This along with improvements to the Yucaipa Regional Drinking Water Filtration Facility will increase the reliability of the YVWD’s water supply by implementing recycled water service within the District, as well as, provide a drought-proof, renewable water resource that protects and enhances the regional groundwater quality by exporting concentrated salt brine that would normally accumulate through recycled water usage.