Water Challenges Discussed at Roundtable Hosted by Assemblymember Brown
Key water district leaders gathered for a meeting hosted by Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) on Tuesday, July 22, to discuss the Inland Empire’s priorities for the state’s upcoming water bond measure.
Meeting attendees included San Bernardino County leaders as well as directors and general managers from the Fontana Water Company, Cucamonga Valley Water District, San Bernardino Municipal Water District, West Valley Water District, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Colton Public Utilities and Rialto Water Services.
“When I go back to Sacramento, I’ll have to vote on a bond to be placed on the November ballot. I want to know how the bond is going to affect the Inland Empire so I can fight for our specific needs,” said Assemblymember Brown.
Currently, there are four water bond bills circulating throughout the legislature: AB 1331, which proposes an $8.2 billion bond; SB 848, amended from a $10.5 billion bond to a $7.5 billion bond; AB 2686, a $10.25 billion bond; and SB 1250, a $10.15 billion bond.
“The consensus in Sacramento is that an $11 billion water bill is too bloated. We need an acceptable proposal that’s cost effective for the taxpayers, protects the Delta water system, addresses water quality concerns and funds storage projects for the future,” said Assemblymember Brown.
Among the top priorities discussed, water storage remained the highest.
“Water storage is important; not only for Southern California, but also Central and Northern California,” said George Aguilar, commissioner, Colton Public Utilities. “If you have more storage in the good years, we’ll have more water for everybody.”
Other priorities mentioned included water supply reliability, groundwater cleanup, updating infrastructure and alternative water sources (recycled water).
“Expanding recycled water use is something we’re starting to get into at the Fontana Water Company,” said General Manager Robert K. Young. “Recycled water use is extremely critical and beneficial for irrigation purposes.”