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Western Municipal Water District Acquires Its First-Ever Groundwater Right
Western Municipal Water District (WMWD) announced earlier this week that it has acquired nearly 23,000 shares of common stock in the Meeks and Daley Water Company (M&D), a private individual shareholder. This purchase will further ensure WMWD’s long-term water reliability and is the water district’s first-ever groundwater right in the San Bernardino Basin.
“The acquisition of M&D water is part of Western’s ongoing plan to decrease dependence on imported water, expand affordable local water supplies, and ensure long-term water reliability for our 25,000 residential and business customers,” said General Manager Craig Miller.
Under a 1969 Court Judgment, the purchase of the groundwater rights will continue without end. Shares from M&D will bring Western’s customers more than 226 acre-feet of affordable local water annually, which is enough water to meet the yearly indoor needs of more than 800 families of four.
The new M&D water-rights purchase will save WMWD’s customers nearly $3 million over the next 20 years versus the more costly water imported from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Northern California via the State Water Project. Additionally, the new water-right acquisition supports WMWD’s strategy to increase local water resources and to keep rates as low as possible. Equally important, the M&D purchase helps to ensures a steady water service under California’s challenging conditions of droughts, climate change effects, natural disasters and state emergencies.
A 2017 water wheeling agreement was executed between WMWD and Riverside Public Utilities (RPU). The agreement will now be used to extract and transport the M&D water through RPU wells and pipelines into WMWD’s water system. This is a mutually beneficial agreement for WMWD and RPU. WMWD will pay for all costs associated with transporting the newly acquired supply through RPU system and RPU is assured a new, additional source of revenue to improve their long-term rate stability.
“We see ourselves as more of a business than a bureaucracy, which is why we work tirelessly to ensure operations are as cost-efficient as possible,” said Miller. “Securing these rights is a testament to our work in securing local water sources to benefit customers.
The benefits for WMWD’s customers is not just the assurance of a new water supply. The M&D water-rights purchase will save WMWD’s customers nearly $3 million over the next 20 years compared with the cost of water imported from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta via the State Water Project.