San Bernardino VMWD Works With Local Water Agencies to Invest in More Water Supply Projects

By on July 30, 2019

A new program is being offered by the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (SBVMWD) providing a financial incentive to local water agencies for projects that produce recycled water or capture stormwater. The Local Resource Investment Program (LRIP) provides a financial incentive for twenty years to any agency in SBVMWD’s service area that constructs a project which provides a new source of supplemental water to the area.

“The Local Resource Investment Program provides an incentive for the water retailers and cities to advance their projects, while at the same time benefiting the region,” commented Valley District Board President T. Milford Harrison.  “By investing in local projects that provide supplemental water, we are able to increase local water supply reliability, which is a critical goal of this District.”

SBVMWD’s Board of Directors began the LRIP with a target of investing in 15,000 acre-feet of water throughout the region in 2018. The East Valley Water District’s Sterling Natural Resource Center recycled 11,000 acre-feet of water. They will receive $173 for every acre-foot of recycled water provided to the region, or approximately $2 million per year for twenty years. One acre-foot of water will serve a family of five for one year.

More recently, the Clean Water Factory was recently approved for funding through the LRIP by the SBVMWD Board of Directors. This project will provide 5,6000 acre-feet of recycled water to the region when construction is completed by the San Bernardino (SB) Municipal Water Department.  SBVMWD will provide the (SB) Municipal Water Department approximately $970,000 per year for 20 years from LRIP once the project comes online in 2021.

“We will continue to identify opportunities to partner with our retailers who are interested in the LRIP and are able to identify additional sources of supplemental water for the region,” stated Douglas D. Headrick, SBVMWD General Manager.  “These types of regional partnerships are critical to ensuring we meet the needs of the customers we serve, especially in prolonged drought periods.”

Although the entire state of California – and the Southwest states in general – are no stranger to droughts. But California’s Inland Valley has weathered two 20-year droughts in recent times. This situation coupled with a dependence on imported water has prompted SBVMWD to identify and implement projects that will complement the region’s investment in the State Water Project to provide a robust, portfolio of reliable water supplies for the region.

The Santa Ana River Conservation and Conjunctive Use Program, Bunker Hill Basin Conjunctive Use Project, Enhanced Stormwater Capture/Recharge Project, and water use efficiency programs are some of the ways that SBVMWD and the LRIP partners with local agencies to improve water supply reliability.