The Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority has awarded the H.R. LaBounty Safety Award to the District for innovation in establishing new approaches to field work that include the purchase of a free-standing aluminum bridge crane and electric chain hoist to assist in the welding of gates and the transport of heavy equipment. Staff was honored for taking the initiative to research options, conduct a job safety analysis, develop a safety sheet and standard operating procedure, and conduct training to ensure that best practices and safety standards are followed in the use of the equipment.
Recent storms and improvements to District facilities led to above average levels of groundwater recharge for the 2022 calendar year. As of Dec. 20, 65,838 acre-feet of water was recharged into local aquifers, providing enough water to serve 212,1437 people for one year.
The recharge totals reflect the amount of snowmelt and rainfall captured by the District into holding ponds so it can percolate naturally through silt and sand into the groundwater basin, where it is stored for future use.
A decade-long partnership between three local water districts to enhance recharge capabilities in the Upper Santa Ana River Basin took a major step forward this month when the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District Board of Directors approved plans and specifications for the Enhanced Recharge Project Phase 1B. Design for this new phase of improvements was completed by the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District and Western Municipal Water District, and will be constructed by those districts on lands owned by the conservation district, which in turn will operate the facilities. The improvements, once completed, are expected to increase recharge capacity to 500 cubic feet per second.
California’s Central Valley has lost roughly 85 cubic kilometers of groundwater storage since 2004 due to intensive pumping during periods of drought. The Central Valley is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, growing 40 per cent of the fruit and nuts produced in the US. When surface water is inadequate to irrigate all those crops, farmers pump groundwater from the region’s aquifer.