Historic Partnership to Secure Future Water Supply

  • by Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District
  • Dec 4, 2020

Western Municipal Water District (Western) and the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) are pleased to announce a historic partnership that is more than 20 years in the making.

After working together through temporary agreements to ensure reliable and safe water supply to our customers, a long-term partnership was approved by the Board of Directors for both Western and EVMWD in late October and executed by both agencies in November. The new agreement between Western and EVMWD will provide water supply stability for both agencies as they plan for existing and future service demands across the region.

“California’s water system is incredibly complex and heavily reliant on sources from the northern part of the state. This partnership, which took more than 5 years to solidify, represents a model for other agencies to follow,” said Western’s Board President Donald D. Galleano. “Together, Western and EVMWD are taking the lead to come up with creative solutions to diversify our water supply and share local resources so that our region can continue enjoying a high quality of life, now and for generations to come.”

The partnership will consist of three separate agreements. The first agreement will cement EVMWD’s capacity in Western’s Mills Gravity Line, a fourteen-mile imported water distribution line, allowing the purchase of nine cubic feet per second (CFS) of service rights by EVMWD. EVMWD will join the other project partners including the Cities of Corona and Riverside, Temescal Valley Water District, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) in sharing in the proportional costs of operation, maintenance, repair, and replacement of the fourteen-mile pipeline. The second agreement allows EVMWD to reserve an additional 12 CFS capacity in the Mills Gravity Line through 2024 at a guaranteed rate, securing a means to convey imported water for EVMWD customers into the future.

The third element is a 20-year agreement allowing Western to lease EVMWD’s water rights in the San Bernardino Basin Area totaling 4,680 acre-feet per year — enough to serve the indoor needs of nearly 19,000 families of four every year. Western will lease this water from EVMWD and use an existing agreement with the City of Riverside to produce, treat and deliver the water to its Riverside retail service area at a lower cost than imported water. The lease agreement, which provides a cost savings to Western customers and revenue to EVMWD of approximately $930,000 per year, also includes an optional 20-year extension.

“This innovative, multifaceted arrangement exemplifies the benefits of collaboration. The assurance of permanent capacity in the pipeline is a win for the growing Elsinore region, and the benefit of local water supplies made available for Western reduces reliance on expensive imported water. A win-win for our region,” said Board President Andy Morris for EVMWD.

“President Galleano and I would like to thank the efforts of district staff whose professional, collaborative approach and tireless efforts were instrumental in making this happen.” said Morris.

Western and EVMWD look forward to the implementation of this historic partnership and future collaborative efforts that reduce costs and increase water supply options for our customers.