INLAND EMPIRE, CA – The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA/Agency) and the city of Rialto are recipients of the inaugural Carmen Ramirez Award for Equity on behalf of their recycled water collaboration. The award is presented by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), which highlights projects promoting the core principles of sustainability throughout Southern California.

“We are grateful for this collaboration with the city of Rialto, and it is an honor to be recognized with the Carmen Ramirez Award for Equity,” stated IEUA Board President Marco Tule. “IEUA is committed to promoting sustainable water-use throughout the region, which includes developing critical infrastructure to offset future demand of imported water and increasing the region’s local supplies.”

Through this 50-year partnership agreement, the city of Rialto will sell a portion of its recycled water supply to IEUA. This collaboration will create a new local water supply for the Chino Basin that would otherwise be sent to the Santa Ana River and eventually the Pacific Ocean. IEUA will design, construct, and operate an Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF), groundwater injection facilities, pump stations, new wells, and connection lines between the Agency’s wastewater plants and the city’s recycled water distribution system. The newly implemented wells will provide cooler temperature water to further improve the downstream ecosystem for native fish species. By providing a new local supply of tertiary recycled water for IEUA’s AWPF, this purchase agreement with the city of Rialto will provide benefits to the ecosystem and is an integral part of improving reliability and resiliency in the region.

The Carmen Ramirez Award for Equity, part of SCAG’s annual Sustainability Awards, is a newly implemented award named in honor of the late Ventura County Supervisor, who spent a lifetime championing sustainability, mobility, equity, and tirelessly supporting numerous local civic organizations.
“As a former colleague of Carmen’s on SCAG’s Regional Council, I am honored to accept this prestigious award on behalf of the City,” said Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson. “We are also extremely proud of our partnership with IEUA as we address one of the biggest environmental challenges we face here in the West and many parts of the world – the availability of water. Advanced recycling technology and innovative partnerships such as this represent a huge step forward, while also setting the stage for the Lake Rialto habitat project.”

“IEUA and the city of Rialto’s partnership serves as a prime example of how public agencies can combine efforts to support sustainable water-management practices throughout the region as we continue to strive for the One Water approach throughout California,” continued Tule.

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