Funding Received for Study to Improve the Long-Term Health of Lake Elsinore by Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District Jul 16, 2021 Member Submitted News To maintain and restore Lake Elsinore’s natural habitat, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) spearheaded an effort to secure funding for a study focusing on improvement of the aquatic environment in Lake Elsinore. Along with the City of Lake Elsinore and the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, EVMWD partnered with the US Army Corps of Engineers to embark on the Lake Elsinore Continuing Authorities Program 206 Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Study. “This project is one of many that the City and EVMWD are setting in motion to fund and discover long-term solutions that can improve the water quality and ecosystem of our lake,” said Mayor Bob Magee, City of Lake Elsinore. “We are thankful for the support and partnership of Senator Melissa Melendez and Assemblymember Kelly Seyarto as we work together to restore our most valuable asset – Lake Elsinore.” The feasibility study is estimated to cost up to $1.5 million, with 50 percent of the cost share covered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. With the leadership of State Senator Melissa Melendez and Assemblyman Kelly Seyarto, $750,000 was provided through Senate and Assembly Bill 129, the State Budget Act of 2021. This funding covers the remaining cost shared by EVMWD, the City of Lake Elsinore and the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. Overall, the Corps can spend up to $10 million on this study and future construction, which is 65 percent federally funded. The study is estimated to be completed in the next two years. Based on the results of the study, the agencies will determine an appropriate construction project, which could take place in the next three to five years. “This project has been five years in the making and is incredibly important to the overall ecosystem health of Lake Elsinore,” said Phil Williams, president of the EVMWD Board of Directors. “We deeply appreciate the tremendous support from Senator Melissa Melendez and Assemblyman Kelly Seyarto and their hard work in Sacramento. This funding will cover the complete local cost share of the first phase of this valuable project.” Lake Elsinore, the natural body of water that shares the name with the city, serves as both a recreational and environmental asset in southwest Riverside County. It is home to more than 250 bird species, sport fish, and native flora and fauna. Participating in the project will allow the agencies to study, design and construct an ecosystem and riparian habitat restoration project on Lake Elsinore. “Lake Elsinore is Southern California’s largest natural, freshwater lake and a significant environmental asset for the entire state,” said Greg Thomas, general manager of EVMWD. “Our board of directors actively seeks and always appreciates federal and state investment in the restoration of the lake. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Melendez and Assemblyman Seyarto, local taxpayers and ratepayers won’t have to pay for restoration work on their own.” The study will be used to identify possible habitat restoration projects for the lake. The agencies are investigating long-term solutions by considering a 100-year planning horizon and evaluating the benefits for the lake that a project like this would provide. ### EVMWD provides service to over 159,000 water and wastewater customers in a 97-square mile service area in Western Riverside County. The District is a sub-agency of the Western Municipal Water District and a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Visit the District’s Web site at www.evmwd.com for additional information.