Drought Crisis Update

Comprehensive Riverside County Water District Stage Level Matrix – As many of you have already seen, the SWRCB recently finalized their newly imposed State Water Regulations.  The following link will direct you to our in house Drought Contingency Matrix for local water districts detailing the current stages each water district (left column) and the stage at which new development is affected (right column).  The following districts (San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency, Yucaipa Valley Water District, Desert Water Agency & the City of Banning) are not included as their site indicates only that they will implement the mandates according to the Governor’s Executive Order and the SWRCB Regulatory Changes. 

Currently Riverside County Water Districts are all over the map in terms of Stage Alert numbers, some arbitrarily at Level 1 to Level 3a.  They are for the most part similar in terms of mandates with the exception of the assigned number.  There is currently a process under way to ideally get all water districts on the same number system to avoid confusion although it is likely there will be some districts that will remain rogue players.  More to the point, the Stage alerts as they exist today will in all likelihood get completely redefined following the May 6, 2015 SWRCB announcement.  This matrix will require a complete make-over by the end of the month so stay tuned.  Priority watch districts continue to be the Beaumont Cherry Valley Water District and the Rancho California Water District given the SWCRB’s recent finalized regulations. 

Lastly, please be aware that many of our water district partners (Water Boards, General Managers & Staff) are on board with the reality that curtailing development would be a regional disaster.  As the BIA has attended many of these workshops and remains engaged with staff, know that the BIA is actively working in front and behind the scenes with our partners at the water districts and as such, unless a “no growth” contingency’s voice gets too loud, it is the best policy not to engage publicly at the hearings and instead gather information and if necessary talk to board members and staff one on one following the hearing/workshop.  It has been noted that there have been instances where some pro-development attendees engaged the workshops with the best of intentions only to stir up a conversation that could have easily taken a turn in the wrong direction had it not been for the positive guidance of our water district allies.  Please disseminate this to anyone you know that plans to attend a workshop in the future.  

Should you have any questions, contact Nathan Miller, Director of Government Affairs for BIA Riverside County Chapter via email at nmiller@riversidebia.org.

CLICK HERE for the Drought Contingency Matrix document