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For Release 1/10/02

SBVWCD Celebrates 70th Anniversary

On January 4, 2002, the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District Board of Directors hosted a celebration luncheon to honor the District's 70th anniversary.

As D. Burnell Cavender, the General Manager for the District noted, "The District has continued to serve the people of the San Bernardino Valley by percolating native water to the Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin. This is a mission that the District was established to perform, and is the mission assumed from the tri-county Water Conservation Association that had been established in 1912 to recharge the Santa Ana River water. So, in one sense, we have been doing what we do for 90 years."

Over the years the District has assumed additional duties such as the Big Bear Watermaster. Also, major new construction is planned in the Santa Ana River spreading grounds to replace basins lost to the pervious borrow pit for Seven Oaks Dam.

Recently, environmental concerns have caused the District to take a leadership role in regional planning to assure that lands used for groundwater recharge continue to be available for that purpose. The District coordinated development of a land managment plan for the Upper Santa Ana River Wash with 19 local, state, and federal agencies. The land management plan balances uses of the wash between water conservation, sand and gravel mining, local infrastructure, and environmental habitat. A concept plan has been endorsed by the agencies, and organizing documents for environmental studies are in development.

As the District looks back at an admirable past, it is clear that the need for groundwater, mineral resource management, and habitat management is even more important today and in the future.