INLAND EMPIRE, CA –On November 17, the California Water Commission (CWC) approved the Chino Basin Program (CBP) continuing its work towards final approval of $212 million awarded under the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP). To reach this milestone, IEUA submitted completed feasibility studies, draft environmental documents that had been released for public review, and commitments for at least 75 percent of the non-program funding.

“Our goal has always been to work together to build partnerships, collaborate, secure investments in infrastructure, and develop innovative programs that support the region’s needs for water supply reliability,” said Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) Board member and CBP Ad Hoc Committee Chair Steve Elie. “The CBP is a prime example of a collaborative effort that ensures our region is able to meet water supply, water quality, and storage needs now and in the future.”

At a July 2018 meeting of the CWC, the CBP was one of seven projects awarded conditional funding under the WSIP, which was a component of Proposition 1 approved by California voters in 2014. These projects would boost California’s water storage capacity by almost 2.8 million acre-feet. Increased statewide water storage is a critical component in creating drought resiliency as California faces more frequent and longer droughts.

The CBP includes construction of an advanced water treatment facility and distribution system to treat and store up to 15,000 acre-feet per year of recycled water in the Chino Basin. In addition to the creation and storage of the advanced treated water that reduces the impact of salinity in the groundwater, the CBP provides groundwater production capacity of 40,000 acre-feet per year that improves water quality and addresses historical land subsidence within the Chino Basin.

“I am pleased that the California Water Commission board members recognized the value of this project and approved it to move forward,” said Randall James Reed, President of the Board of Directors for the Cucamonga Valley Water District. “The current drought and statewide water supply emergency have highlighted the importance of working together as a region to develop innovative programs like the CBP. Our agency is proud to be working with MWD, IEUA, and surrounding agencies to create a stronger drought resilient region with a more diverse water supply improving local water supply reliability. This program has the potential to provide significant value to our region and rate payers, Southern California, and the State.”

To-date the following agencies have signed letters of interest in the CBP:

  • Cucamonga Valley Water District
  • Fontana Water Company
  • Jurupa Community Services District
  • City of Pomona
  • Three Valleys Municipal Water District
  • Western Municipal Water District
  • Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Going forward, the CBP must complete the remaining WSIP requirements, including final permits and final environmental documents, contracts for the administration of public benefits, and contracts for non-Proposition 1 funding before returning to the Commission for a final award hearing.

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