Inland Empire Districts to Form Partnership to Enhance Water Reliability
REDLANDS, Calif. (Sept. 11, 2018) —The boards of the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District and San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District voted Monday to pursue a partnership agreement that will draw from the best of both districts to promote a brighter future for groundwater storage and the protection of threatened species in this region.
In a rare joint meeting, the two boards took action to develop a partnership agreement that will serve the Upper Santa Ana River Wash Plan, the Upper Santa Ana River Habitat Conservation Plan and complete projects to recharge water into the Bunker Hill Basin for use during dry years.
“This partnership reflects the commitment of the two districts’ boards to meet our region’s needs for groundwater recharge and habitat conservation,” said Daniel Cozad, general manager of the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District. “It will expand the ways we work together to benefit the region and enhance cooperation and efficiency in operations.
“Collaboration is oftentimes difficult in our industry, especially where water or habitats are concerned,” he said. “But I believe, working thoughtfully together, we can more efficiently meet the water and habitat needs of our region.”
Douglas Headrick, general manager for the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, agreed.
“Both districts bring valuable resources and relationships to the table to accomplish recharge and species preservation,” he said. “This partnership is a win-win for local tax- and ratepayers, and the sensitive habitats of our region.”
Details of the proposed partnership provide that:
• The conservation district provide up to 295 acres of conservation easements to the San Bernardino Valley Conservation Trust, to help offset the environmental impacts of active recharge projects being undertaken to enhance groundwater recharge and storage.
• For each acre of conservation easement the conservation district transfers to the trust, Valley District will provide funding to the conservation district for building new recharge projects.
• Valley District will fund a permanent endowment with the conservation trust to support the management of habitat mitigation land.
• Valley District will transfer to the conservation district the implementation, management and eventual ownership of the following capital improvement projects: Plunge Creek Basins 1 and 2 (construction and operations); City Creek Basins (construction and operations);Waterman Percolation Basins (reconstruction and maintenance); East Twin Creek Basin (repairs and maintenance); Mill Creek Diversion (expansion, construction, and operations).
Oversight and participation in the new partnership arrangement will be ensured through the establishment of a Partnership Agreement Policy Committee. The San Bernardino Valley Conservation Trust would be asked to expand its board to include a designee of the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District as a member.