RIVERSIDE, CA – Western Municipal Water District (Western) and Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) entered into an interagency agreement this month to partner on efforts to enhance water supply reliability for March Air Reserve Base (March ARB).
The North Perris Groundwater Basin Program participation agreement between Western and EMWD supports a commitment to remedy and protect groundwater resources, providing a new local water supply for the area.
EMWD’s Perris North Groundwater Program includes multiple projects within EMWD’s service area which will treat segments of the basin to remove and remediate nitrates, perchlorates, volatile organic compounds and total dissolved solids, making a previously unavailable water supply safe for drinking water use. In addition, the program will protect non-contaminated portions of the basin from future threats. Lastly, the program will help address rising groundwater levels in the March ARB area that create infrastructure challenges.
Announcing this historic agreement, Western’s Board President Don Galleano stated, “This partnership will improve water supplies for current and future generations, allowing us to support and serve the March Air Reserve Base community. By working together, we are continuing to improve long-term water reliability in the region while protecting the integrity of the water supply within the basin.”
As part of the agreement, Western will have the ability to purchase the necessary water supplies to meet the current and future drinking water needs of the March ARB. Initially drawing 500 acre-feet per year, the agreement will eventually provide up to 1,500 acre-feet per year to accommodate anticipated growth in the area.
EMWD’s Board Vice President Phil Paule stated, “Funding for EMWD’s North Perris Groundwater Program includes the largest grant award in the agency’s history. By securing the grant and constructing the necessary infrastructure, EMWD is able to add a cost-effective local water supply source to both EMWD and Western’s water supply portfolio, ultimately benefiting customers by reducing our reliance on more expensive imported supplies.
EMWD’s Perris North Groundwater Program will include the following facilities in EMWD’s service area: up to nine groundwater production wells, wellhead treatment facilities, blending stations, conveyance pipelines, and up to 20 monitoring wells. The program is expected to produce up to 6,750 acre-feet of water per year to serve 15,000 households at a total cost of $89.9 million. It is partially funded by a $44.9 million grant awarded to EMWD by the California State Water Resources Control Board.