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For over 100 years, Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) has delivered safe, reliable, high-quality drinking water to its customer-owners in and around the City of Riverside.

Our water supplies come from underground sources fed by rain and snow falling in the San Bernardino Mountains and local foothills. Over the years, RPU has constructed facilities that have allowed us to wisely utilize our groundwater resources to become completely water independent.

This independence allows RPU to provide our customers with quality service at lower rates, as we are free from having to purchase higher-cost imported water supplies.

In effort to ensure these supplies will continue to serve our customers’ needs for the next 100 years and allow RPU to remain water independent, we have developed the Water Supply Plan, designed to expand additional local water supplies in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.

Overview of RPU’s Water Supply Plan

To ensure the future of Riverside Public Utilities water resources the Water Supply Plan looks to increase local water supplies through:

  • Diversification of our water supply portfolio, including fully developing area groundwater basins and improve their management.
  • Increase the use of recycled water by creating sources of direct delivery to offset potable (drinkable) supplies and recharge area groundwater basins.
  • Develop area surface water supplies, such as those at the Seven Oaks Dam and Mockingbird Canyon Dam, and the use of a rubber diversion dam along the Santa Ana River.

Projects that will assist RPU in achieving these goals include:

Seven Oaks Dam Water Supply Project - Working with area water agencies, this project would utilize water supplies coming from the Seven Oaks Dam to recharge the important Bunker Hill Basin. More

Riverside North Aquifer Supply Program – This program, phased in through 2020 will focus on recharging groundwater basins in Colton and North Riverside. More

Arlington Basin Water Supply - This joint program with Western Municipal Water District proposes projects such as construction of recharge basins that are supplemented with recycled water and storm water. More

Recycled Water Project – For more than twenty years Riverside Public Utilities has been working toward utilizing recycled water for such uses as landscape watering, which helps reduce needs for high quality drinking water. As part of RPU’s Water Supply Plan, utilizing recycled water will also help to recharge groundwater basins. More

Seven Oaks DamWorking closely with Western Municipal Water District and the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, Riverside Public Utilities is working on water rights and cost share agreements that would help to provide additional water supplies coming from the Seven Oaks Dam that would be used to recharge the important Bunker Hill Basin.

These plans include participating in future diversion pipeline projects to complete Seven Oaks Dam water capture, and developing supplemental production and conveyance agreements to ensure future water rights.

This program, phased in through 2020 will focus on recharging groundwater basins in Colton and North Riverside.

Part of this project includes proposing the construction of an inflatable rubber dam across the Santa Ana River just south of the Mount Vernon bridge and the construction of groundwater recharge basins in the south part of the City of Colton. This facility would allow active groundwater recharge in this part of the Santa Ana River.

Additional project elements incorporate RPU’s Recycled Water Program that would provide additional water to recharge areas in the Riverside and Arlington groundwater basins.

Arlington Basin Water SupplyThis joint program with Western Municipal Water District proposes projects such as construction of recharge basins that are supplemented with recycled water and storm water.

Supplemental water for these basins would be supplied by RPU’s recycled water facilities, as well as the Riverside Canal and a new outlet pipe from the Mockingbird Canyon Dam. This outlet pipe would also reduce flooding from storm flow releases to the Jackson Street arroyo and improve water quality at the Mockingbird Canyon Lake.

Recycled Water ProjectFor more than twenty years Riverside Public Utilities has been working toward utilizing recycled water for such uses as landscape watering, which helps reduce impacts on using high quality drinking water supplies. As part of RPU’s Water Supply Plan, utilizing recycled water will also help to recharge groundwater basins.

Water reuse plans like RPU’s Recycled Water Plan have been recognized as a cost-effective ways to reduce demands on drinking water needs, while replenishing groundwater supplies for use in the future.

Currently, Riverside only utilizes about 300 acre-feet (AF) of recycled water per year (an acre foot is approximately 326,000 gallons), which is supplied to area businesses and is used by city facilities.

The Recycled Water Plan would increase recycled water use to over 20,300 AF annually. Additionally, it would increase RPU’s local water supplies, ensuring continued water independence for its water customers.