By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Adequate water will be available to sustainably meet the needs of San Bernardino County residents and businesses through 2040 only if water users continue to improve water-use efficiency efforts and the public; state; regional and local government leaders; and developers are willing to collaborate and invest in projects that will store, reuse, protect and convey water supplies.
That was the conclusion of a 2018 update of a complete inventory of the county’s water resources presented today at the Annual San Bernardino County Water Conference in Ontario. The inventory is a product of the Countywide Vision Water Element Group’s efforts to bring together the leaders of all county water agencies and other experts to work cooperatively on solutions to a potential imbalance between population growth and water supply.
The inventory shows that the combined current and projected supplies of San Bernardino County water agencies will meet the demand of the county’s growing population in normal years and drought years through 2040. A projected increase of water supplies of 44,000 acre feet per year (afy) to a total of 819,000 afy by 2040 assumes substantial investment in enhancements to the State Water Project, stormwater capture and recycled water.
Per-capita water demand (total water use divided by population) is projected to decrease about 8% from 2020 to 2040 as more residents and businesses make conservation a way of life. As a result, while the population is projected to grow from 2.18 million in 2020 to 2.78 million by 2040, the combined Urban and Agricultural water demand within the county is expected to increase at a much slower pace – from a total of about 600,000 afy in 2020 to about 700,000 afy in 2040.
The complete presentation can be viewed on the Vision website at www.sbcounty.gov/visionunder “Elements.”
The Countywide Vision Water Element Group is made up of leaders from county water agencies, business representatives and other stakeholders. It was formed in January 2012 to develop a long-range plan to ensure water sustainability for San Bernardino County’s future.
The Vision Water Element group will continue to use the information contained in the inventory to promote partnerships among water agencies and other stakeholders within the county, improve water management and efficiency, protect and conserve water resources, and identify the most important next steps the group should take to embrace the environment in which we live.
The Countywide Vision was developed in 2010-11 in an effort to identify a common goal for all county communities and residents. The Vision was created from information received during 18 community meetings, an online survey, more than two dozen expert roundtables, and data from the county and all 24 cities and towns.