Regional Water Partnership

Riverside Public Utilities and Western Municipal Water District are working
together to stretch local water supplies for the benefit of all customers.

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Seven Oaks Dam

Why Does This Partnership Matter?

Did you know that Western Municipal Water District (Western) and Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) secure water for more than 300,000 residents in the City of Riverside? You might be one of them. Western and RPU have a strong history of working together to find solutions to meet the region’s water needs. Crucial water reliability projects have been developed to provide the highest quality water at affordable prices.

This partnership is committed to keeping water bills as low as possible, identifying and maintaining key infrastructure projects, and providing beneficial programs to make the region a better place to live, work, and play.

Thanks to the partnership, Western and Riverside were able to get through California’s historic drought with your help in being efficiency-minded and proactive.




Water Resiliency? You Can Count On It.

Collaborating to secure regional water supplies is critical for customers of Western Municipal Water District and Riverside. A keystone agreement is the Water Supply Agreement of 2017. It’s a win-win deal to benefit all customers. It’s a long-term water supply agreement that makes it possible to help both agencies by sharing local resources - customers benefit with keeping rates as low as possible for both agencies and sets of customers: more revenue for Riverside and a less costly water supply for Western.



History

Western Municipal Water District and Riverside Public Utilities both serve customers in the City of Riverside; Western also reaches unincorporated areas of the city such as Woodcrest. Water supply for the agencies varies – Western secures imported water for the region from Northern California and the Bay-Delta and is expanding other local water resources. The 2017 Western Riverside Water Agreement is a prime example. Other efforts include Western’s desalting of local brackish groundwater and RPU’s historic 1895 water rights to underground water sources fed by rain and snow falling in the San Bernardino Mountains and local foothills.



Western

Western was formed in the ‘50s specifically to bring imported water into the region. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the agency began operating its own retail domestic system. Western now reaches over 527 square-miles of western Riverside County providing imported water from Northern California via the State Water Project and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to agencies and cities as well as directly to residential and business customers in its Riverside Retail Service Area: the communities of Woodcrest and Lake Mathews, and portions of the city of Riverside such as Orangecrest. Of those roughly 23,000 customers, about one-third or 9,000 customers are city of Riverside residents.

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RPU

The City of Riverside is fortunate to have historic defined rights to groundwater in the San Bernardino Basin Area. Established in 1895, Riverside Public Utilities is a customer-owned water and electric utility that provides services to more than 64,000 metered water customers (serving a population of more than 300,000) in and around the City of Riverside.

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2017 Water Agreement


Background on Agreement

Western Municipal Water District will purchase excess or “surplus water” that the City of Riverside has in the San Bernardino Basin Area as well as pay to transport or “wheel” Western water from the Basin into its service area. Riverside receives additional revenue, Western receives a lower cost imported – and local – water supply.

From time-to-time, Riverside’s customer demand for water is less than their defined water right. In 1969, the Superior Court defined Riverside’s right to water in the San Bernardino Basin Area. Through its established water right, consolidation and shareholdings in water companies such as the Gage Canal Company, and investments in projects like the Enhanced Recharge Project at Seven Oaks Dam, Riverside has an export right of 55,263 acre-feet per year from the San Bernardino Basin Area.

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Benefits of Securing Regional Water Supply to All Customers

  • Reliability via a long-term agreement for water supply
  • Assisting with keeping rate increases lower for Western
  • Providing revenue stability for Riverside Public Utilities

Western will also keep more money local by spending water-purchasing dollars in Riverside instead of sending those water supply dollars to entities outside of the city and county region.

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Agreement Project Area Map


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Videos

Each of these video segments is a step along the water pathway of the 2017 Western Riverside Water Agreement.










Efficiency Initiatives

Western and Riverside are committed to assisting customers in being as water efficient as possible. Western provides funding to Riverside via the Metropolitan Water District Stewardship Program. From 2009 through 2017, $4.8 million in rebates has been provided via Western and its membership to the Metropolitan Water District, a contribution that equals 6,327 acre-feet in water savings.

Our agencies also partnered in 2011 to develop the FreeSprinklerNozzles.com program, which is now statewide in 17 counties. The program continues to be administered by Western and to date has saved roughly 7,000 acre-feet in water.

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FAQ: Agreement

Click the button below to see answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.



 

Regional Resource Projects

 

Santa Ana River Water Rights

Western and San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, on behalf of their member agencies, obtained water rights to divert and put to beneficial use a total of up to 200,000 acre-feet of water per year (AFY) from the Santa Ana River.

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Upper Santa Ana River Habitat Conservation Plan

The Habitat Conservation Plan will evaluate the impacts of covered activities (i.e., those activities for which take authorization is requested) on covered species and estimate the level of take expected from these covered activities.

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Recycled Water – Jackson St & Arlington Ave

The City of Riverside Public Utilities Water Division (RPU) is proposing to construct the Jackson Street Recycled Water Pipeline Project (Phases I and II) to expand the existing recycled water system.

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Enhanced Recharge Program

The Enhanced Recharge Project is being cooperatively implemented through a three-agency agreement between San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, Riverside and Western, with Valley acting as the lead agency.

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Western, San Bernardino, and Santa Ana River Watermaster

In 1969, the Court appointed a Watermaster, composed of two persons, to administer and enforce the provisions of the Judgment (Case No. 78426) and to report annually to the Court and the Parties.

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Upper Santa Ana River Integrated Groundwater Model (River Study)

The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, in cooperation with Western Municipal Water District, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Orange County Water District, Riverside Public Utilities...

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Riverside North Aquifer Storage & Recovery

The Riverside North Aquifer Storage and Recovery (RNASR) Project is an endeavor by the City of Riverside Public Utilities, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District and Western Municipal Water District (Project Partners)...

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Santa Ana River Conservation & Conjunctive Use Project

SARCCUP is a multi-agency, watershed-wide program developing dry-year yield supply by banking wet-year water that also integrates water conservation measures, habitat enhancements and recreational use.

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