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EMWD’s Groundwater Reliability Plus Initiative Boasts Sound Planning and Appropriate Investment

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Perris, CA (February 20, 2019) — Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) is proud to continue its investments in groundwater quality and sustainability through its Groundwater Reliability Plus (GWR Plus) initiative. GWR Plus is a comprehensive approach to groundwater management with the goal of continually improving the quality and quantity of water in our local groundwater basins.

This holistic initiative ensures that EMWD can meet the long-term needs of its service area through expanded groundwater services, including desalination, replenishment of aquifers, and the protection of water quality through environmental health initiatives.

“We are incredibly proud to continuously expand the scope of this initiative, which exemplifies the forward-thinking nature of this Board to address the changing water supply needs of our communities,” EMWD President Ronald Sullivan said. “This initiative prepares us for future droughts, helps protect water quality, and provides cost-effective solutions for a more sustainable water supply.”

EMWD has long been a leader in groundwater management and meets approximately 16 percent of its current demand from groundwater supplies.

EMWD’s GWR Plus initiative has introduced and will further expand on programs that increase reliance on locally controlled groundwater supplies. These efforts include:

  • EMWD’s recycled water program, which is among the most robust in the nation—meeting more than one-third of EMWD’s overall water supply needs. This program is continually expanded to help further reduce the demand on groundwater supplies.
  • EMWD’s Healthy Sewers Program, a public education program that promotes the responsible disposal of prescription medication and fats, oils and grease. By reducing contaminants in the wastewater collection system, EMWD can reduce treatment costs, help sustain a high-quality recycled water supply and ultimately protect future groundwater quality.
  • This year, EMWD will expand its desalination program with the construction of a third groundwater desalination facility. This facility will add an additional 5.4 million gallons of capacity per day, enough to provide for approximately 15,000 households. This program will also further extract salt from some of EMWD’s local groundwater basins, helping to provide long-term water quality benefits.
  • In 2019, EMWD will also break ground on its new Water Banking facilities. Located in San Jacinto, it will allow for water imported from northern California during wet or normal years to percolate into local aquifers and be stored for use during normal or dry years. This project will also help improve water quality in the region and keep groundwater basins sustainable.
  • EMWD is also studying the possibility of implementing an advanced water purification facility. Purified Water Replenishment starts with recycled water and purifies it using a multi-stage process of microfiltration and reverse osmosis. The purified water could then be blended with additional treated water before being pumped into replenishment basins, where it would go through a natural purification process which takes at least six months to filter through the ground. The water pumped from the ground would then go through one final cleaning step before it would be sent to homes and businesses.

“As California continues to face water supply challenges because of a changing climate and infrastructure needs, our region will be well equipped to meet our customers’ needs because of our proactive investments through GWR Plus,” Sullivan said.

As part of its public education efforts, EMWD has added a focused microsite that includes informational materials on GWR Plus. EMWD will also continue to share information about the GWR Plus initiative using social media, community events, and other forms of interactions with customers and the communities it serves

For more information, please visit www.emwd.org/GWRPlus or www.gwrplus.org.

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Eastern Municipal Water District is the water, wastewater service and recycled water provider to approximately 825,000 people living and working within a 555-square mile service area in western Riverside County. It is California’s sixth-largest retail water agency and its mission is “To deliver value to our customers and the communities we serve by providing safe, reliable, economical and environmentally sustainable water, wastewater and recycled water services.” More information can be found at www.emwd.org.

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