On June 8th, the Building Industry Association, Riverside County Chapter hosted its LAC Luncheon with a focus on water. The event was sponsored by Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD), Western Municipal Water District (WMWD) and Riverside County Flood Control. Our guest speakers were Paul Jones and John Rossi who are the General Managers from EMWD and WMWD respectively. They coordinated their speaking roles to provide one comprehensive presentation.
The event began with a brief presentation by Stuart McKibben with Riverside County Flood Control and was followed by lunch and then turned over to our guest speakers.
The presentation by our guest speakers was extremely educational providing an overview of water districts, Metropolitan Water District (MWD), and much more specific water issues, including: explaining our sources of water, the legislative and regulatory challenges the state and the region currently face, the Urban Water Management Plans of the water districts, and the future of our water supply.
Up until recently, discussions of water supply and drought conditions tended to paint a grim picture. This discussion was significantly more positive as the State Water Resources Control Board has eased restrictions and allowed local water districts to determine conservation levels. Additionally, MWD has developed integrated supply augmentation and dry-year strategies to meet regional demands and provide a supply “buffer”. Both EMWD and WMWD consider General Plan growth in the region and have existing and planned local supply projects for supply reliability and multiple-dry years. It is this type of forward thinking that will ensure our region is sufficiently supplied with water for years to come.
One of the concerning legislative/regulatory changes that threaten our industry is that the Governor’s Administration and members of the State Legislature have expressed interest in lowering the threshold for Water Supply Assessments (WSA) for new development. The threshold for a WSA is currently 500 dwelling units. The state administration and the Legislature are questioning if reducing the threshold to as low as 15 dwelling units would address water supply and water shortage issues (2017 proposal pending).
The event was well attended, with nearly 100 participants, many of whom asked questions of our speakers during the Q&A portion of the program. Attendees included industry leaders, BIA Members, Members of the BIA Board of Directors and Elected Officials.
The BIA would like to thank Paul Jones and John Rossi once again for addressing our membership and providing us with information which is of great importance to, not only our industry, but the entire state.
Additionally we would like to thank our partners at the Eastern Municipal Water District, Western Municipal Water District and Riverside County Flood Control for their exceptionally generous sponsorship that made this event possible, thank you!