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Water

Water agencies invite customers to conservation fair on June 27

17862104102_69e37a083c_hUnder the current drought restrictions, Inland Empire water customers are being required to cut their water use by 24 to 36 percent or face fines of $500 a day or higher.  To help customers reach their reductions, water agencies are hosting the Inland Empire’s first Water Conservation Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 27 at the Stauffer Complex at the University of Redlands.

A kidzone with bounce houses, drawing contests and food trucks will be set up so that children can play, allowing parents to attend workshops and meet with landscapers, representatives from turf replacement companies as well as sprinkler manufacturers, such as Toro and Rain Bird.

Representatives from 10 different water agencies will also be on hand to provide detailed information on rebate programs that will save water customers money on everything from water efficient toilets and appliances to low-flow sprinkler and shower heads and turf replacement programs.

Water agencies will provide free water bottles and other promotional items as well as drawings for major prizes, including weather sensitive irrigation timers.

Agencies participating in the event include the cities of Colton, Loma Linda, Redlands and San Bernardino as well as East Valley Water District, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, West Valley Water District and Yucaipa Valley Water District.

For more information on Water Saving Garden Friendly plants as well as water conservation tips, tools and rebates, please visit watersavinggardenfriendly.com and iEfficient.com.

Cucamonga Valley Water continues successful internship program

cucamongavalleywaterLast spring, the Cucamonga Valley Water District and San Bernardino Valley College partnered up to offer a unique student internship program.

The internship allows students to earn one school credit for each 60 hours volunteered with the water district. Each internship session lasts 18 weeks and allows students to learn about the water utility industry.

So far, 28 interns have completed the program and five more are scheduled to start next semester.

The internship was developed as an applied field training course to augment the Water Supply Technology Program offered at San Bernardino Valley College. Interns use the classroom knowledge they gain at the college and apply it to their internship at the water district, rotating through the Water Maintenance, Sewer Maintenance, Field Service, Engineering, Production, and Treatment divisions.

According to the water district, the internship is offered twice a year. Participants come from a wide variety of age groups and backgrounds; many work full-time elsewhere and are looking to enter the water industry. This program affords them the opportunity to earn their internship hours through flexible scheduling, including weekdays, weekends, evenings, and days off, while still working at their current job.

Participants must be currently enrolled in one of the San Bernardino Valley College Water Supply Technology Certificate Programs. If you are interested in participating in this internship opportunity, contact the SBVC Department Chair Achala Chatterjee at (909)384-8507/ achatter@valleycollege.edu or visit www.valleycollege.edu.

New drought regulations and state laws topic of Water Element Group meeting

waterelementmeetingLeaders of water and municipal agencies met today with members of the local business and development sectors to discuss how new state laws and regulations related to the drought may impact community planning and growth in San Bernardino County.

About 70 people convened in Rancho Cucamonga to learn about the state drought measures, including the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 and Proposition 1: The Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.

The meeting was hosted by the Countywide Vision Water Element Group, the SANBAG City-County Managers Technical Advisory Committee Water Sustainability Subcommittee and the Baldy View Chapter of the Building Industry Association.

Since their first meeting in January 2012, the Water Element Group has been working to develop a long-range plan to ensure water sustainability for the county’s future. The Group consists of leaders representing public and private water agencies, regulators, planners, education, and business.

This effort by the Group marked the first time that San Bernardino County endeavored to address its water needs in a comprehensive, collaborative environment that incorporated multiple watersheds.

The Countywide Vision Water Element Group has produced:

  • A countywide water inventory that revealed the County has enough water to supply residents, business, and agricultural needs through 2035, if there is a commitment from the whole community to invest in capital projects and programs to store new water supplies, protect current water supplies, and increase water conservation efforts.
  • A countywide inventory of water conservation programs.
  • A map that identified land recommended for protection for future local water recharge projects.

During the past year, the leaders of the Water Element Group have met with County and city managers, County and city planning directors, and the Baldy View Chapter of the Building Industry Association (BIA) to discuss how they can all work together to ensure there is a sufficient, sustainable water supply to accommodate expected population and economic growth.

At BIA’s Annual San Bernardino County Water Conference in August, water, city and BIA leaders discussed the benefits of collaboratively working on regional 2015 urban water management plans that closely link to County and city general plans.

When Governor Brown signed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act on September 26, 2014, which in part advocates for coordination of water management and land use planning, the water, city and BIA leaders saw a chance to continue the dialogue they started earlier this year to improve their growing partnership.

To view presentations and other materials from today’s meeting, click here.

San Bernardino County Water Conference addresses the new norm of regional water resources

waterelementgroup

The 8th Annual San Bernardino County Water Conference was held today at Cal State San Bernardino where government officials, water experts, business leaders and the community discussed opportunities to overcome California’s water challenges.

The Countywide Vision’s Water Element Group is working on a comprehensive strategy for water management that encourages collaboration among business, residents, municipal governments, and water agencies to ensure adequate water supplies and quality to support future population and economic growth within the County. The water needs of county residents and businesses can be met through 2035, but only if water users step up conservation efforts and the whole community is willing to invest in projects that will store and protect additional water supplies.

At today’s conference, the Water Element Group facilitated a discussion about coordinating land use and water planning.

During the past year, the leaders of the Water Element Group have met with County and city managers and County and city planning directors to discuss how they can work together to ensure there is a sufficient, sustainable water supply to accommodate expected population and economic growth. They are improving their common understanding of current water resource realities, such as identifying gaps in infrastructure needed to move water to residents and businesses throughout the county. And, they are aiming to make the county more business friendly by preparing to collaborate regionally on the upcoming 2015 Urban Water Management Plans to ensure they are more closely linked to County and city general plans.

For the Water Conference, the Water Element Group and the city managers recruited a diverse set of professionals to talk about the benefits of collaboration among municipalities, water agencies and developers.

Coordinating Land Use and Water Panel:
Moderator: Paeter Garcia, Partner, Best Best & Kreiger
• Doug Headrick, General Manager, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District
• Mike Podegracz, City Manager, City of Hesperia
• Ray Casey, City Manager, City of Yucaipa
• Joe Zoba, General Manager, Yucaipa Valley Water District
• Terry Kent, President, Building Industry Aassociation Baldy View Chapter and Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Crestwood Communities

The panelists provided many great examples of the benefits of collaboration, including the following:
• When the City of Yucaipa began to conceptually design the Oak Glen and Wildwood Creek detention basins to improve flood protection and address stormwater quality in the city, officials also saw an opportunity to improve the sustainability of the groundwater basin through active and passive recharge. The City sought input from the flood control district, water agencies and resource conservation district to complete balanced designs for the two projects that provide multiple benefits. Both basins were constructed with diversified funding from City accounts, federal and state grants and contributions from the flood control district, water agencies, resource conservation district and developers.

• San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District and the retail water agencies within its service area were able to successfully combine the efficiencies of a regional urban water management plan with the flexibility of an individualized plan. The first chapters of the 2010 San Bernardino Valley Regional Urban Water Management Plan are not unlike many other regional urban water management plans, providing an overview of regional water supplies and demands. What makes this plan unique, is that there is no “one size fits all” approach to achieving state mandated water use reductions for the region. Instead, each participating water agency was given the freedom, through its own chapter in the plan, to provide its personalized approach toward meeting its water conservation targets. This innovative approach to urban water management planning was praised by both the California Department of Water Resources and the participating water agencies.

Following the Water Conference, the Water Element Group and city managers plan to partner with the Building Industry Association to host a workshop about coordinating regional Urban Water Management Plans for representatives of municipalities, water agencies and developers. It is expected this workshop will be held next year once the State issues guidelines for the 2015 Urban Water Management Plans.

For more information about the work of the Water Element Group, visit www.sbcounty.gov/vision. To read the 2014 Water Element Group Executive Summary, click here.

Transforming communities through collective impact discussed at City-County Conference

partners in progressCity, county and local government leaders convened in at the 14th Annual City-County Conference in Lake Arrowhead on March 24-25 to discuss unique ways to collaborate and bring innovative ideas to meet challenges in our communities.

The conference themed “Partners in Progress” began with a presentation on the benefits of collective impact in solving society’s complex problems.

Collective impact occurs when organizations from different sectors agree to solve a specific social problem using a common agenda, aligning their efforts, and using common measures of success, said Jennifer Splansky Juster, director of the Collective Impact Forum at FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm.

Juster highlighted the use of collective impact used in by officials in New York state who were struggling with recidivism of  their juvenile offenders. By tapping state resources in the areas such as mental health, housing, and corrections, the state reduced the number of juveniles in state custody by 45 percent.

This model has been used across the country to tackle some of the most serious social issues, including the education system in Cincinnati, malnutrition in low socioeconomic status communities, substance abuse in teens, and childhood obesity.  This model holds promise as a successful approach to the Cradle to Career goal of the Countywide Vision.

healthymuralSan Bernardino County Director of Public Health Trudy Raymundo led a lively discussion about healthy communities using artists who drew a mural showing what healthy communities look like based on a wish list received from conference attendees.

Their answers ranged from clean air, to a general plan that promotes diversity in housing amenities, to bike and walking paths and recreation centers.

Barbara Alejandre, assistant to the County Superintendent of Schools joined San Bernardino County Director of Preschool Services Diana Alexander to talk about education’s role in the economy of our region.

Education is an excellent investment in a region’s overall economic vitality, and improves social, environmental, and cultural factors as well. The Countywide Vision Cradle to Career Roadmap was developed to bring all sectors of our community together to support every child’s path to the workforce.

Already underway in the Colton Joint Unified School District are Community Cabinets of educators, parents, community members and business leaders working together to develop concrete goals -such as reading by third grade – to help children excel in school and build the skills necessary to sustain themselves into adulthood.

Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford and the County’s Chief Executive Officer Gregory C. Devereaux discussed County government’s roles and responsibilities and how those duties relate to a county’s incorporated cities.

devereauxcitycountyCounties have four basic functions: provide municipal services in unincorporated areas, provide the backbone infrastructure, provide health and human services and law enforcement and justice.

Cities and counties have major differences in function and they are not the same in structure and legal abilities, Devereaux said. However, cities and counties can find ways to collaborate and work with each other on major issues to reach common goals.

The conference was sponsored by the County of San Bernardino, San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

 

Water element group discusses sustaining water supply with cities and towns

Washing Hands Under FaucetThe Countywide Vision’s Water Element Group met with city and town planning directors today to discuss working with city and towns to incorporate the sustainability of our water supply into planning for future population and economic growth.

Celeste Cantú, General Manager of Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, and Bob Tincher, Manager of Engineering and Planning for the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District described how they believe a partnership between water agencies and the County and cities and towns will help ensure we can reach the level of prosperity we envision for our county.

It is expected the County’s water needs for residents and businesses can be met through 2035, but only if water users step up conservation efforts and the whole community is willing to invest in projects that will store and protect additional water supplies.

Cantú and Tincher proposed at the monthly meeting of the San Bernardino Associated Governments Planning and Development Technical Forum to work with the County and cities and towns to identify:
• opportunities to reduce water consumption by promoting or requiring a greater use of drought-tolerant landscaping
• vacant land that can be preserved to capture rain water to recharge our groundwater basins so that the water can be stored until it is needed

The planning directors will form a subcommittee to work with water agencies on the Water Element Group’s proposals.

 

Water element group discusses conservation, planning with city and town managers

Waterway_High Desert_2The Countywide Vision’s Water Element Group met with city and town managers today to discuss working with city and towns to incorporate the sustainability of our water supply into planning for future population and economic growth.

Kirby Brill, General Manager of Mojave Water Agency, and Bob Tincher, Manager of Engineering and Planning for the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District described how they believe a partnership between water agencies and the County and cities and towns will help ensure we can reach the level of prosperity we envision for our county.

It is expected the County’s water needs for residents and businesses can be met through 2035, but only if water users step up conservation efforts and the whole community is willing to invest in projects that will store and protect additional water supplies.

 

Water Element Group drafting long-range plans

waterThe Countywide Vision Water Element Group is scheduling discussions with city officials to address protection of land for stormwater and imported water recharge sites as part of collaborative effort to develop a long-range plan to ensure water sustainability for our region’s future. Water agency leaders presented a map identifying areas of the county critical for getting water into our local aquifers at the 2013 San Bernardino County Water Conference in August. The Water Element Group also plans to work with business and developers on the drafting of a comprehensive water resources plan.

Vision group reveals progress in long-range plans for County’s water supply

waterelementONTARIO – The Countywide Vision Water Element Group today presented progress made toward a comprehensive water management plan that ensures sustainable water supplies in the County for future population and economic growth at the 7th Annual San Bernardino County Water Conference.

The plan aims to enhance the County’s water portfolio through greater conservation efforts; investment in improved infrastructure for local, imported and recycled water supplies; and environmental stewardship.

The Water Element Group is comprised of public and private water agencies, regulators, planners, educators and business people who are working together on solutions to a potential imbalance between population growth and water supply.

The group has determined that the County has enough water to supply residents, business and agricultural needs through 2035 if there is a commitment from the community to invest in capital projects and programs to store new water supplies, protect current water supplies and increase conservation efforts.

At today’s conference, County Chief Executive Officer Gregory C. Devereaux said the work the group has done so far is crucial to determining how and where to invest in future growth. In the past, water resources and infrastructure were not always a part of planning and developing projects.

“If we conserve our water and if we invest our resources and infrastructure differently, we have enough water to support our future growth,” Devereaux said.

The Water Element Group is developing two documents: a countywide inventory of water conservation programs and a countywide inventory that identifies land to protect for water recharge projects.

The group will evaluate the impact of water use efficiency programs to identify and promote best practices before publishing the water conservation programs inventory online.

In the next few months, the County and the San Bernardino Associated Governments will assist the Water Element Group by holding discussions with business, residents and land use planning agencies to review the need for water conservation, landscaping ordinances and the protection of land for stormwater and imported water recharge sites.

For more information about what the Water Element Group is doing, read the

Executive Summary and view the presentation at www.sbcounty.gov/vision.

Countywide Vision water inventory wins Good Government Award

waterPOMONA – Mark Twain is credited with saying whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting. For more than a century, California water purveyors have been notorious for warring over and hoarding their supplies, oftentimes to the detriment of the public.

San Bernardino County’s Vision effort bucked that image in a big way in August when it unveiled the first-ever Countywide Water Inventory. The Water Inventory was honored in a big way Thursday night when it earned the 2012 Good Government Award from the Building Industry Association Baldy View Chapter.

The Countywide Vision’s Water Element Group, which includes leaders from many of the county’s water agencies, conducted a complete inventory of the county’s water resources and determined that, acting separately, the county would not have enough water through 2035. But that is only if water users step-up conservation efforts and the public and local government leaders are willing to invest in projects that will store and protect additional water supplies.

County leaders have stressed the importance of conservation and support for new infrastructure as a key element for economic prosperity.

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