WHERE DOES OUR WATER COME FROM?
Water in the Inland Empire comes from a variety of sources, including underground aquifers, snow melt in Northern California, and from as far away as Wyoming via the Colorado River. Learn more about your water sources below.
The Inland Empire sits on top of the Chino, San Bernardino, Cucamonga, Riverside, Arlington, Temescal, Elsinore, West San Jacinto, Hemet-San Jacinto and Temecula-Murrieta basins. A basin is natural, underground water storage that can be accessed through wells.
The State Water Project and Colorado River provide a majority of the supply for the Inland Empire. The State Water Project brings water from Northern California and the Colorado River brings water from Colorado, through Utah, Arizona and Nevada, into Southern California.
SANTA ANA RIVER
The Santa Ana River starts in the peaks of the San Bernardino Mountains, where it is fed by melting snow. The river has been a source for people in the area for more than 9,000 years. It travels 96 miles to the Pacific Ocean and is the largest river in Southern California.
SAN JOAQUIN DELTA/STATE WATER PROJECT
The State Project Water originates with rivers in Northern California then travels through the Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta, the heart of the system. It eventually is delivered to Southern California via the 441-mile California Aqueduct. This resource provides water to 25 million Californians and 750,000 acres of irrigated farmland.
Drainage systems are in place to capture rain during heavy storms, helping to prevent flooding. Some stormwater is added back to local groundwater basins, which use percolation ponds to allow the water to seep slowly through the ground and replenish the basin.
Wastewater that is treated can be used by businesses and municipalities for commercial purposes or to irrigate large areas. Using recycled water helps protect drinking water supplies. Recycled water is carried in separate purple pipes so it is not confused with potable water.
Water with high levels of salinity are not usable for irrigation or drinking water. But a process known as desalination removes salts and nitrates, turning it into potable water and cleaning up basins. Locally, two Chino Basin Desalter facilities distribute tens of millions of gallons of drinking water every day to several agencies across the Inland Empire.
KNOW YOUR WATER FOOTPRINT
Water plays an important part in our everyday lives, even in places we might not expect. Here are some everyday foods along with the amount of water required to produce them. Becoming more aware of how our water is used is an important step toward sustainability.
Demonstration gardens throughout the Inland Empire offer inspiration for those looking to design their own iEfficient landscaping. By replacing your lawn with beautiful, drought-tolerant plants, you will be saving water and contributing to a more sustainable future.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHERE AM I WASTING THE MOST WATER AND WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
While every home and business is different, 70 percent of water use in the Inland Empire happens outdoors. Checking for leaks in your irrigation system and installing drip irrigation are great steps to reducing outdoor water waste.
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF CALIFORNIA'S DROUGHT?
Even though we’ve received some rain, we are still in a drought. Check out iEfﬁcient’s Drought News Feed and U.S. Drought Monitor graphic for the most recent information.
DON'T CITIES, PARKS AND GOLF COURSES WASTE MORE WATER THAN HOUSEHOLDS?
Actually, many large users are reducing drinking water demand by irrigating with recycled (treated) wastewater.
CAN I GET REBATES FROM MY WATER DISTRICT TO USE WATER MORE EFFICIENTLY?
Yes. Find Your Rebate is a great place to start. Water providers offer a range of incentives to help you become iEfﬁcient. Check with your local agency before you buy a new appliance, install an irrigation system or replace your turf with drought-tolerant plants – you may be eligible for a money-saving rebate!
I'M A LOCAL BUSINESS OWNER. HOW CAN I CUT MY WATER USE?
Many local businesses have opted to re-landscape with drought-tolerant plants to greatly reduce outdoor water use. For inspiration and guidance, visit your water agency’s demonstration garden. You can also check for leaks and upgrade toilets and appliances to low-ﬂow models.
DO WATER BUDGETS RESTRICT HOW MUCH WATER I CAN USE?
No. Some districts bill customers based on a customized water budget, but it does not restrict the amount of water that they can use, only the price they pay for excess water. These budget-based rates encourage efﬁcient water use by giving residents the water they need at the lowest possible rate and charging them more for excess use. Water budgets give customers a ﬁnancial incentive to conserve.
WHAT ARE AGENCIES IN MY REGION DOING TO HELP SAVE WATER?
iEfﬁcient is the Inland Empire’s collaborative conservation effort. Agencies and cities from around the region have been reaching out to customers at community events, through bill inserts and with information on the web. Most also provide money-saving rebates to help customers end water waste.
HOW MUCH WATER DO WE NEED TO RECOVER FROM THE DROUGHT?
According to a NASA analysis, California needs roughly 11 trillion gallons of water to recover from its lasting drought. To recover the deﬁcit, California would need additional snowmelt/rainfall equal to the amount of water that ﬂows over Niagra Falls in about six months’ time!