Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced legislation to increase the supply of water in the Inland Empire by providing federal funds for two water recycling projects that will produce approximately 95,000 acre-feet of new water annually. This will serve approximately 500,000 people throughout the region.

“Water is an extremely precious resource for California and the West. So, for the Inland Empire, one of our nation’s fastest growing regions, meeting the demand for water is a serious challenge,” Senator Feinstein said.  “The legislation I have introduced would produce approximately 95,000 acre-feet of new supply of water annually through two recycled water projects, reducing the region’s dependence on the Colorado River. This will meet the needs of roughly 500,000 people in the region. So, this will make a real impact locally.

Water recycling also provides energy savings and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. So, this bill is a win-win for the region. It has the support of local environmental and business groups alike. The bill has already passed the House, and I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to join with me in support of this legislation so that it can quickly become law.”

The legislation would authorize two water recycling projects under the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI program with a 10 percent Federal cost share, and the other 90 percent matched by state and local authorities who would be responsible for building the projects. 

The two programs will produce:

  • Approximately 90,000 acre feet of new water annually by the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA).  Federal appropriations of $20 million would be authorized for this project.
  • Five thousand additional acre feet of new water annually by the Cucamonga Valley Water District (CVWD).  Federal appropriations of $10 million would be authorized for this project.

Water recycling also has significant greenhouse gas reduction benefits:

  • The greenhouse gas emission reductions attributed to local development and use of recycled water within Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s service area is roughly 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year.
  • With only a small percentage of the total recycled water available being used in Southern California (approximately 10 percent), there is a huge potential for additional energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions from aggressive development of recycled water supplies.

Companion legislation has been introduced the House by Representatives by Reps. David Dreier (R-Calif.), Grace Napolitano, Ken Calvert, Joe Baca, and Gary Miller. That bill was passed by the House on March 5.