Reclamation Grants Contribute to Water Conservation Efforts of Southern California Communities

Media Contact: Bob Walsh, 702-293-8421
Paula J. Sunde, 951-695-5310

For Release: August 08, 2005

The Bureau of Reclamation recently awarded more than $500,000 in grants to various water service agencies in southern California to support their water conservation efforts. The agencies received their grants from Reclamation's Southern California Area Office (SCAO) through the Water Conservation Field Services Program (WCFSP). The program encourages water conservation, helps water agencies develop and implement effective water management and conservation plans, coordinates with state and other local conservation program efforts, and generally fosters improved water management on a regional, statewide, and watershed basis.

"Water conservation is crucial to the prudent and economic management of our water resources," said Reclamation's Regional Director, Bob Johnson. "It is a management tool that can help make our water supplies stretch further, and Reclamation is proud to partner with these entities to help them with their water resource needs."

"The WCFSP also assists agencies in with the implementation of Best Management Practices as prescribed by the California Urban Water Conservation Council. This year we focused our request for proposal (RFP) to projects that demonstrate conservation technologies and promote the implementation of water efficiency measures," explained Paula Sunde, the SCAO Water conservation coordinator.

To leverage the money and resources available for water conservation efforts, recipients of grants under the WCFSP provide a 50 percent match of the Federal funds provided. Complementing the program were additional funds provided to support the water conservation activities of the same southern California water agencies by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Selection of the recipients was based on ranking them on the criteria developed for the RFP, which focused primarily on significant water conservation/water management benefits. In addition, the submitted proposals had to include and/or address at least one of the following: water conservation management and planning studies, demonstration of innovative technologies for water management activities, or implementation of water conservation measures.

From a group of more than 20 entities that applied, the following were selected as grant recipients: City of Burbank, $25,848 Drip Irrigation Residential Program: An incentive program that will provide drip irrigation starter kits to single home owners.

Cucamonga Valley Water District, $50,000 & $25,000, respectively for two projects: Water Budget Pilot Program: The Pilot Program will develop water budgets for 300 residential water users throught the service area and recommend changes to promote water conservation. Landscape Rebate Pilot Project: The project will provide residential customers an incentive for removing high water-use landscapes and installing more efficient landscapes and irrigation systems.

Eastern Municipal Water District, $50,000 California Friendly Residential Irrigation System Rebate: Residential property owners will be offered an incentive to improve their irrigation system efficiency with specific technology upgrades.

San Jacinto Basin Resource Conservation District, $30,786 PRISM Sustainable Winegrape Management Program: Will develop a water scheduling program for the grape growers in the Temecula Valley wine country.

Inland Empire Utilities Agency, $50,000 Chino Basin Water Efficient Demonstration Projects: Will develop three pilot programs that will achieve water savings through improvements to landscaping irrigation systems that include: (1) Landscape Audit (2) Garden in Every School, and (3) Ontario Cares Neighborhood Revitalization Program.

City of Ontario, $50,000 Artificial Turfgrass: Artificial turf will be installed to replace grass on three regular soccer fields and a featured stadium.

Otay Water District, $50,000 Artificial Turfgrass: Artificial turf will be installed at Monte Vista High School;

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, $50,000 each for three projects: City Makeover: A competitive grant program to provide funding for new water-wise landscapes in prominent public locations with Metropolitan's service area. Market Analysis for Landscape Irrigation: Will conduct a thorough analysis of Metropolitan's current landscape programs, which could lead to comprehensive research-based recommendations. Computer Based Irrigation Efficiency: Will develop a computer-based version of Protector del Agua class.

Municipal Water District of Orange County, $25,000: Water Audit Demonstration: Identify Best Management Practices for Water Loss Control.

San Diego County Water Authority, $23,250: Water Conserving and Fire Resistant Landscape compact disc: GardenSoft will develop an interactive Water Conserving and Fire Resistant Landscaping CD-ROM.

Three Valleys Municipal Water District, $25,000: No Runoff Demonstration Garden: Installation of a demonstration garden in the event center.

Rancho California Water District, $50,000: Targeted Water Conservation Program: Target high water users and provide incentives to implement water conservation measures.

Laguna Beach, $1,544: To install waterless urinals in high-use public areas.

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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.