Press Releases

Senator Feinstein Introduces Measure to Authorize New Water Supply Project for Riverside County

- Bill would capture and store 40,000 acre-feet of new water -

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill to authorize a new water supply project that would capture and store up to 40,000 acre feet of new water for Riverside County in California. This would provide additional water supply equivalent to the usage of approximately 320,000 people in the region.

“The Riverside Corona Feeder project will provide up to 40,000 acre feet of new water for one of California's fastest growing but drought prone regions. This would be enough water to serve approximately 320,000 people in the region,” Senator Feinstein said.  “Dependence on imported water from the Colorado River in dry years will be reduced, water costs will be reduced, and water reliability will be improved.  So, this water project is a win-win.”

Specifically, the bill would authorize the Riverside-Corona Feeder project, which will be managed by the Western Municipal Water District. The legislation would limit the Federal cost-share for the project to 25 percent, and would cap federal expenditures at $50 million.

The project would allow locally stored water to replace the need to import water from Colorado River and State Water Project sources in times of drought or emergencies caused by catastrophic failure of imported water systems.  The project proposes to manage the ground water levels by the construction of ground water wells and pumping capacity to deliver the pumped ground water supply to water users.   A new water conveyance pipeline is also proposed that will serve western Riverside County.   The project will include about 20 wells and 28 miles of pipeline. 

A portion of the wells in the project could be placed within plumes of volatile organic compounds (or VOC’s) and perchlorate.  These wells, in conjunction with treatment systems, would help clean up groundwater basins by removing contaminants from about 20,000 acre-feet of water per year.

The Riverside-Corona Feeder project is strongly supported by agencies upstream in San Bernardino County and downstream in Orange County.  This bill is also supported by and fully consistent with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Integrated Resource Plan, the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority’s Integrated Watershed Plan, and the regional water planning efforts for the cities of Riverside, Norco and Corona, as well as the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and the Jurupa Community Services District..

Bipartisan companion legislation has been introduced in House by Representative Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), together with Representatives Mary Bono (R-Calif.), David Dreier (R-Calif.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.).