The 4,800 acres where the Santa Ana River has rolled out of the steep mountains and meandered through flat, scrubby eastern San Bernardino Valley is rare, government agencies, conservationists and miners would agree. Owned and managed by a patchwork of interests, until now there has been no unifying plan to balance the need for aggregate, groundwater recharge and habitat for endangered species, all of which have limited placement options.
District staff is taking advantage of the dry weather to do additional maintenance and cleanout of the Santa Ana River spreading grounds this summer. That includes crossing repairs, (see photo), maintenance, and vegetation control. Some materials collected during the cleaning, such as boulders and silt, may be used for the Plunge Creek Habitat Conservation Plan restoration. The work will continue through August.
The San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District is working closely with the Bureau of Land Management to complete the exchange of land necessary as a part of theWash Plansigned into law by the President last year. A Chain of Title and environmental review have been prepared and a Mineral Potential Report completed. An appraisal of the land should be completed in three to six months. The land exchange will allow the District to expand sensitive habitat areas and water storage capabilities, while establishing degraded land for mining operations that provide $36 million in payroll annually to the region. Read More
West Valley Water District became the newest member of the San Bernardino Basin Groundwater Council this month, joining others in a new wave of collaboration that has agencies working together to manage groundwater replenishment in the region. By sharing resources, the Groundwater Council has helped to produce record levels of recharge, contributing water and/or money to purchase water that can be stored in local aquifers for the future. Read More
Shrub encroachment on slopes can increase the amount of water that goes into groundwater storage, a new U.C. Riverside study has found. The effect of shrubs is so powerful that it even counterbalances the lower annual rainfall amounts expected as a result of climate change. Read More