Site Credits

This Website is primarily developed and maintained by District Staff. The following staff assisted in development and implementation:

  • Angie Quiroga
  • Athena Medina
  • Daniel Cozad
  • Gilbert Chavez
  • Jeff Beehler

Contract support was provided by:transparency

Site Awards
Certificate of Excellence in Transparency from Special Distirct Leadership Foundation See Press Release

The following outside web links are used on the site

 If you have any questions or concerns about the site or content please send us a message




Transparency and Accountability

SBVWCD’s Board of Directors, Management, and Staff are committed to maintaining an open and honest dialogue with customers about our operations and finances. The District works to earn and maintain the trust of the local communities, water and other partners, and the public in a responsible and transparent manner. We want to make sure that information on management of the District is easy to find and that our customers and partners value the services we provide. transparency2
We have provided financial and related material on one page, but if you do not see something you are looking for call us at (909) 793-2503 or email us at We are proud to have earned the Transparency Certificate of Excellence from the Special District Leadership Foundation for our efforts to demonstrate best practices in transparency and accountability.

District Value
SBVWCD recharges water from the Santa Ana River and Mill Creek in East Highland, Mentone/East Redlands. The District’s 52 recharge basins in Mill Creek and 14 recharge Basins in the Santa Ana River along with other facilities recharge area improve water levels and water quality for the San Bernardino Basin Area. We recharge native river, creek water, and State Project water on behalf of our customers and water partners. The SBVWCD District boundary encompasses approximately 50,000 acres or approximately 78 square miles within unincorporated San Bernardino County as well as portions of the Cities of San Bernardino, Loma Linda, Redlands, and Highland. The water recharged by the District serves 227,580 (according to the 2010 census) people in the District who use well water through our partner water agencies. In addition, cities and agriculture in Riverside County pump and use water recharged by the District.

Originally formed as a private Water Conservation Association in 1909, percolation ponds were dug and the Cuttle Weir was completed by 1914. The current District was formed by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on January 4, 1932 by a vote of landowners to obtain water for conservation purposes as a special purpose District under §74000 California Water Code Water Conservation District Act of 1931. Shortly thereafter, the Association dissolved. The District has fee ownership, water recharge easements, and/or permitted use on more than 3,650 acres.

District Governance
The District is governed by a Board of Directors that establishes the policies of the District and appoints the General Manager, who oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization. The Board has recently completed redistricting from 7 divisions to 5 divisions and from 7 members to 5 members.

The Board of Directors’ conservative fiscal leadership has allowed SBVWCD to maintain one of the lowest Groundwater Charge rates in California. Our District’s staff is proud to get more done with less. The District faces an ever changing environment with challenges on many fronts. To address the challenges, the district updated its Strategic Plan as a Community Strategic Plan  which includes both background explanation and strategic mission, issues, goals, and strategies for the coming few years. The Board has recently updated its pdf Board Policy Manual (813 KB)  which explains the rules of the Board.

District Transparency
SBVWCD works closely with our customers and partners openly to build public trust. SBVWCD’s Board of Directors conduct committee meetings and one Board meeting each month in a public forum. The District’s Groundwater Charge Rate, District Budgets, and all Board member and employee compensation and benefits are adopted by the Board of Directors in a public meeting.The public is encouraged to attend the Board of Directors' Regular meetings, which are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. at our District offices. For more information on meeting dates, agendas and minutes click here.

Budgets & Financials

Budgets & Financials


The District prides itself on being good stewards of funding available to the District.  Our Groundwater Charge, which supports the groundwater recharge costs, is the lowest in California.  A number of factors make this possible.  We have provided a number of years recent budgets and annual financial audit reports below.  Additionally, in each Board Package, monthly financial reports and expendature reports are reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors.

What We Do

In support of its mission, the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District provides a number of services to support the people of the San Bernardino Valley:

The Water Conservation District provides services that assure high quality local water supplies for people and the environment in the San Bernardino Valley.

Groundwater Recharge

The weather in the Valley alternates between droughts and floods. The District staff captures surface water in the wet years and channels the water to a series of small basins where the water percolates into the ground and is stored until it is needed.

By keeping the groundwater basin relatively full, the District helps reduce the cost of pumping groundwater.

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Assure Beneficial Use of Water Resources

The District serves the role of the "honest broker" among ten public and private water agencies which formed the Santa Ana River-Mill Creek Cooperative Water Project to facilitate transfers and exchanges of water amongst the members.

Because the District is neither a wholesaler nor retailer of water, it was deemed the most objective and was selected to manage the program and the water transfers. The District has performed that role continuously since 1976.

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Big Bear Watermaster

The District is one of three court-appointed members of the Big Bear Watermaster. The Watermaster accounts for the flows of water in and out of Big Bear Lake. The District's function is to ensure that flows that should or would contribute to the groundwater basin are not lost or improperly used by others.

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Balance Groundwater Levels

Just as the State of California has more water in the north and people in the south, the San Bernardino Valley has more water in the east and more people in the west. In addition, the subsurface slopes from east downward to the west, so water migrates naturally in that direction. A natural ground fault, called the San Jacinto Fault, forces groundwater toward the surface in the lower (west) end of the basin. As a result, groundwater is higher and could be dangerous in the event of an earthquake.

The District is working with other water agencies to balance the need for higher groundwater in the east end of the basin area with the need for lower groundwater levels in the west end of the basin. Several agencies are pumping groundwater through their wells and making that water available to downstream users. This allows the groundwater levels in the west to be lowered, while also allowing the groundwater to be replenished in the east. A balance of needs is achieved.

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Improve Groundwater Quality

The native surface waters of the Santa Ana River and Mill Creek are some of the best quality water in the State of California.

When the surface water is not being used, such as during storms, the District captures the water and puts it into the ground. This high quality water blends with and improves the existing groundwater, making native water a much better replenishment source than imported water.

Annual analyses of the principle contaminants of total dissolved solids and total inorganic nitrogen reveal that the groundwater quality is better where the surface water has percolated into the ground. Improving the groundwater supply reduces the cost to treat wastewater.

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Promote Proper Uses of Natural Resources

The District has supported mineral extraction from its lands for more than 60 years. These deposits of sand and gravel are designated by the State Department of Resources to be "regionally significant" and are to be protected to assure sustaining the local economy.

The mining industry provides 2-4 million tons of aggregate annually for road construction and other masonry products. Through an economic multiplier effect, the mining industry pumps $50 million into the local economy each year.

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Plan for and Protect the Environment

District lands are home to several natural plant and animal habitats, including those for sensitive, threatened, or endangered species.

The District is forming partnerships with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and State Department of Fish and Game to ensure that water conservation practices are compatible with effective wildlife habitat management. To ensure that compatibility, the District is spearheading development of a Land Management and Habitat Conservation Plan for the Upper Santa Ana River, a cooperative effort among 15 agencies.

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