SMWD’s approach to water supply reliability calls for a diverse portfolio that includes a balanced combination of conservation, water reuse, storage facilities and new supplies. One solution we are pursuing is a new imported water supply, the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project.
The Cadiz Water Project will provide a new Southern California water supply by actively managing a groundwater basin that is part of a 1,300-square-mile watershed in eastern San Bernardino County.
Water that would otherwise evaporate will be collected and conserved for beneficial use. The project will then convey the conserved water to SMWD and to other Southern California water agencies to enhance their water supply reliability. A future phase of the project could include the ability to store water underground in the Cadiz aquifer so that it could be used during dry years.
SMWD will purchase at least 5,000 acre-feet of water annually from the Cadiz Water Project. The 5,000 acre-feet of water represents approximately 20 percent of the District’s overall water supply.
The Cadiz Water Project underwent an extensive environmental review spanning nearly two years which found that project operations would cause no significant impacts to the environment. Under the criteria of the California Environmental Quality Act, SMWD served as the lead agency for the project’s environmental review. SMWD will supervise and carry out the project, which includes the design and construction of infrastructure for the transportation of groundwater, as well as the development, operation and implementation of the project. Click here to view CEQA documents, including FEIR.
SMWD is leading the way in ensuring a reliable water supply for customers by encouraging conservation, recycling and seeking innovative local supply solutions. Our customers are using 25 percent less water than they did 10 years ago, and SMWD has one of the largest recycled water reservoirs in Orange County - the Upper Oso Reservoir. SMWD is also a partner in the Upper Chiquita Reservoir, which can provide drinking water to some 500,000 South County residents for up to one week in an emergency.
Through innovation, SMWD is diversifying its water portfolio to ensure local water reliability.