Calif. stormwater capture to boost water supplies

Feb. 25, 2022
The Beaumont MDP Line 16 project, estimated to cost about $7.5M, will capture up to 500 acre-feet of water per year for the area’s existing recharge ponds.

In Cherry Valley, Calif., the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District (BCVWD) and the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District are collaborating to capture enough stormwater to supply enough groundwater to support 900 families a year.

Securing additional water to support long-term regional water sustainability and ensure a dependable supply for customers is more important than ever, as the state experiences severe drought and faces uncertain weather conditions due to climate change.

The collaboration supports the Beaumont MDP Line 16 project, which will construct an underground storm drain to collect runoff and deliver up to 500 acre-feet of water a year to BCVWD's existing recharge ponds, which feed the Beaumont groundwater basin. Without this joint effort, stormwater would continue to flow along Brookside Avenue, directly into Marshall Creek, and be lost downstream.

“The project area often experiences flooding with even just small amounts of rain,” said Andy Ramirez, vice president of BCVWD. “By working together to manage and collect stormwater, we can minimize the flood impacts to our community and strategically grow our local water resources while promoting a sustainable water future.”

BCVWD’s supplies come from the State Water Project and local groundwater. The District has the advantage of large storage capacity in the Beaumont Basin, and strategically seeks opportunities to add to that underground supply bank in preparation for water shortages.

“Planning and collaboration between our two agencies emphasizes our dedication to protecting residents from flooding and ensuring water reliability for the region,” said Jason Uhley, general manager and chief engineer at the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. “We recently partnered to prevent flooding and debris flow from local burn scars, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to continue working together on this important project.”

The stormwater project, funded by BCVWD, Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, and state grant money, is estimated to cost $7,558,650. Construction will begin March 2022 and is anticipated to be complete by June 2023.