INLAND EMPIRE, CA – At yesterday’s Board meeting, the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA/Agency) Board of Directors authorized the Agency to execute the IEUA-City of Rialto Recycled Water Purchase Agreement Term Sheet to acquire recycled water supplies from the City of Rialto.
The Board previously approved the City of Rialto Water Resources Partnership Principles of Agreement, which established the terms of purchasing recycled water supplies from the City of Rialto in February 2022. This long-term water partnership will allow Rialto to sell a portion of the city’s unused recycled water supply to IEUA for a proposed term of 50 years.
“We are excited to collaborate with the City of Rialto on this water purchase agreement, which aligns with IEUA’s business goals for supporting short and long-term needs while promoting sustainable water-use throughout the region,” stated IEUA Board President Steve Elie. “Through this purchase agreement, the City of Rialto will receive financial compensation for a critical resource that is currently underutilized. This critical recycled water resource from Rialto will help to ensure that our region can continue to develop local water supplies and increase our overall reliability and environmental sustainability while maximizing the beneficial reuse of recycled water in the region.”
The Rialto Utility Authority’s wastewater treatment plant currently discharges 6.2 million gallons per day (MGD) of recycled water to the Santa Ana River and is expected to reach its maximum treatment plant capacity of 11.7 MGD due to the City’s growth. This partnership also provides for a new well near the wastewater treatment plant that can provide cooler temperature water that is essential for further improving the downstream ecosystem for native fish species.
“On behalf of the City of Rialto, I want to express our gratitude for the opportunity to enter into this agreement with IEUA. Not only will this agreement allow IEUA to maximize the use of Rialto’s excess recycled water for the benefit of the region, but it will also reduce adverse impacts to native species and benefit the ecosystem,” stated City of Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson. “This agreement supports our city’s principle of ensuring that Rialto’s economic environment is healthy and diverse by providing a new source of income for the city as well as demonstrating environmental stewardship to help enhance water quality in the region.”
Additionally, this purchase agreement is an important step in improving reliability and resiliency in the region and supports projects such as the implementation of the Chino Basin Program. Through the Chino Basin Program (CBP), IEUA is proposing to construct an Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF) at Regional Water Recycling Plant No. 4 as well as groundwater injection facilities to maximize utilization of recycled water. The CBP will require a constant monthly source of recycled water to supply the AWPF. During the months of May through October, recycled water demands can exceed available supplies. As a result, IEUA has been seeking opportunities to expand its recycled water system by securing a new local supply of tertiary recycled water for the new AWPF.
“The Chino Basin Program will allow IEUA to leverage local recycled water supplies to improve water reliability in the region,” stated IEUA Board President Elie. “This purchase agreement will provide the IEUA service area and Chino Basin with the recycled water needed to fully support the Chino Basin Program’s goal of improving the region’s local control over our water supplies and is an important step in decreasing our region’s reliance on imported water.”