water district

File photo

A stream near Bogart Park.

With extreme drought conditions plaguing California, Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District (BCVWD) has taken steps to ensure a safe, reliable water supply for customers even during extended dry periods and emergencies.

BCVWD’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP), adopted by the Board of Directors at the August 26, 2021, regular meeting via Resolution 2021-14, outlines six stages of emergency measures in the event of a water shortage or sudden disruption to the water supply. The levels, which are designed to build upon each other, include water reductions as noted below and additional conservation measures. The first stage would be implemented in the event of up to a 10 percent reduction in normal long-term water supply availability and a forecast of lower imported water resources over two years.

The first stage is a voluntary 10 percent reduction; the second stage is a mandatory 10 percent reduction; stage three is mandatory 20 percent reduction and limited landscape irrigation; stage four is mandatory 25 percent reduction and further limited landscape irrigation; stage five is a mandatory 30 percent reduction and further limited landscape irrigation; stage six is mandatory 30 percent reduction and zero landscape irrigation (unless recycled water).

“During the last drought, BCVWD customers did their part to conserve water,” said Director Andy Ramirez, on behalf of the Board of Directors. “Minimizing outdoor water use and checking for leaks are easy ways you can do your part to conserve.”

In California, conservation is a way of life, and customers play a key role in saving water, especially in dry seasons. In July, Governor Gavin Newsom called for voluntary water use reductions of 15 percent. However, Californians have only reduced water use by 1.8% over the last few months.

The District continuously monitors state drought conditions, conducts an annual water supply and demand assessment, and has plans in place for water shortages or other catastrophic events.

The Board of Directors recently adopted an updated WSCP and Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP), positioning the District to respond to drought or emergencies and ensuring a sustainable water future for the region.

BCVWD has the advantage of large water storage capacity in the Beaumont Basin and strategically purchases imported water in preparation for water shortage situations. The District currently has 39,750 acre-feet in storage.

The UWMP illustrates how the District will continue to focus efforts on meeting the area’s growing water demands over the next 25 years, including actions such as regional planning partnerships and growing its water portfolio through added storage capacity, groundwater banking and implementing various recycled water reuse activities with the City of Beaumont.

“Over the years, BCVWD has tactically invested in projects that expand and diversify our water resources and ensure reliability,” said Vice President Lona Williams, on behalf of the Board of Directors. “Taking these steps and continuing to plan for the future is vital to ensuring a dependable supply for our customers and our region.”

Water districts statewide are required to update their UWMP and WSCP every five years. The Board adopted the updated plans at its August 26, 2021, meeting. The plans are under review by the California Department of Water Resources.

Learn more and read the plans at bcvwd.org/documents/urban-water-management-plan. For information on 2021 drought conditions, go to bcvwd.org/california-drought-conditions. Get conservation tips at bcvwd.org/water-conservation-tips.

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