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Santa Ana River Groundwater Recharge Facility Optimization Study

The San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (Municipal District), “Districts,” retained MWH Americas, Inc., in association with GEI Consultants plan to evaluate the capacity of the existing Conservation District facilities along the Santa Ana River in order to capture and store the proposed spreading objectives identified in the Upper Santa Ana River Watershed Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP).

The goals of this project were to evaluate the ability of the existing facilities to meet the recharge objective of 500 cfs, recommend and provide conceptual designs for improvements to meet the objective of 500 cfs (if needed), and provide recommendations on the operations and maintenance activities that will maximize recharge capacity.

As of June 2009, the final report for the Optimization Study was completed. In the final report, the data gathered through the study was consolidated to recommend practices and provided conceptual designs of physical improvements to help meet the goals of the project. It also provided recommendations operational maintenance and monitoring methods that will help hit the recharge goals defined in the IRWMP. Through the recommendations presented in the final report, the performance of the recharge basins can be improved.

While the Optimization Study itself was completed, it evolved into the Collaborative Enhanced Recharge. In 2012, the final form of the Enhanced Recharge Project Agreement was written; it was created so the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, and the Western Municipal Water District of Riverside County could collaboratively use each other’s facilities and skills in order to effectively recharge as much groundwater as possible between them. The Agreement was set to last for twenty-five years as of October 1st, 2012.