Reclamation to Host Meeting of Santa Margarita River Watershed Stakeholders

Media Contact: Robert Walsh , 702-293-8421
William Steele, 951-695-5310

For Release: August 08, 2006

The Bureau of Reclamation will host a meeting to inform stakeholders and interested parties within the Santa Margarita River Watershed about a multi-agency effort to address water quality issues within the river basin.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Rancho California Water District Board Room 42135 Winchester Road Temecula, CA 92590

Several waterways in the Santa Margarita River Basin have been or are proposed to be listed by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board as "impaired" which means that water quality standards mandated by the Santa Margarita Basin Plan for these portions of the watershed are not being met. These waterways include the lagoon at the mouth of the river; the mainstem of the river in the Temecula Gorge; DeLuz, Sandia, and Rainbow Creeks which enter the river in the gorge near Fallbrook; and Murrieta and Temecula Creeks in the Temecula Valley.

To help restore the water quality of the waterways, the Regional Board is establishing "Total Maximum Daily Load" (TMDL) limits for these areas. TMDL denotes the quantity of a pollutant that can enter a waterbody and still meet water quality objectives.

At the meeting, Reclamation staff will discuss: 1) implications of the impairment listing and TMDL process; 2) how the limits may impact agencies and landowners; and 3) a proposed plan that will enable watershed stakeholders to participate in the process to develop discharge limits for the listed sections of the river system.

The Santa Margarita is one of the last free-flowing rivers in Southern California. Its watershed drains 744 square miles spanning from the San Jacinto/Santa Rosa Mountains near Anza in the east to the Pacific Ocean at Camp Pendleton on the west and from Wildomar and Winchester on the north to Mount Palomar and Sunshine Summit on the south.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.