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Groundwater

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Approximately 25% of EMWD’s potable (drinking) water demand is supplied by EMWD groundwater wells. The majority of the groundwater produced by EMWD comes from its wells in the Hemet and San Jacinto area. Some of these wells have limited production as a result of the Fruitvale Judgment and Decree. EMWD also has wells in the Moreno Valley, Perris Valley and Murrieta areas.

Contrary to the impression of groundwater being huge underground rivers and lakes, groundwater is the water that occupies the pores and cracks in soil and rock. The source of groundwater is either natural or artificial recharge.

Natural recharge begins as rain or snow that seeps directly into the soil and rocks, or from rivers, streams and lakes. Artificial recharge is the intentional recharge of water in ponds or spreading basins; or through the use of injection wells.

Groundwater basins may be defined by geologic structures, such as earthquake faults or fault zones; or, they may be defined by administrative boundaries based on water quality or some other factor. Groundwater flow follows a path of least resistance (i.e. groundwater level gradient) to a point of equilibrium.

Groundwater Reliability Plus is EMWD’s groundwater management program to ensure for groundwater sustainability for the communities it serves.

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Overview

Groundwater Reliability Plus

About GWR Plus

EMWD’s Groundwater Reliability Plus (GWR Plus) initiative encompasses EMWD’s actions and investments to improve the quality and quantity of water in our local groundwater basins.

EMWD’s groundwater supply management has included enhancing water supplies through its recycled water program, desalination program, water use efficiency programs and, most recently, its healthy sewers program.

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Fruitvale Judgment and Decree

The Fruitvale Judgment and Decree (The City of San Jacinto, et al., v. Fruitvale Mutual Water Company, et al., No. 51546, Riverside County) was entered into Book 72, Page 164, of Judgment, Riverside County, on June 4, 1954. EMWD, as successor in interest to Fruitvale Mutual Water Company, is subject to the provisions of the Judgment and Decree.

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About California Water Rights

In California, water rights involve the right to use water, not the right to own water. While the Water Code implies the existence of groundwater rights, their doctrinal bases and characteristics are essentially the product of the decisions of the courts. There is no comprehensive law in California that determines the right to groundwater. If disputes arise, the courts decide priorities in individual cases considering types of water rights and judicial decisions that have set precedent.

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