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POMONA – 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.
ONTARIO – More than enough water will exist to meet the needs of San Bernardino County residents and businesses through 2035 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 water supplies.
That was the conclusion of the first-ever complete inventory of the county’s water resources unveiled today at the Sixth Annual San Bernardino County Water Conference in Ontario. The inventory is a product of the Countywide Vision’s efforts to bring together the leaders of all county water agencies and other experts to work cooperatively on solutions to a potential imbalance between population growth and water supply.
Board of Supervisors Chair Josie Gonzales and Vice-Chairman Bread Mitzelfelt, who co-hosted the conference, both stressed the importance of conservation and support for new infrastructure in their remarks to attendees. Economic prosperity as well as life itself is impossible without an adequate water supply.
The Countywide Vision Statement, adopted in June 2011, calls on community leaders to work collaboratively to reach shared goals, and water agencies throughout the county had to work together and share information to create the inventory. This created a process that suggests the revolutionary prospect of agencies eventually sharing resources and supplies to meet the needs of county water users.
“This is the year of ‘we’,” said Kirby Brill, general manager of the Mojave Water Agency and a member of the Vision Water Element Group. “There will be much more of an emphasis on working together in the context of the Countywide Vision…Silos are being destroyed.”