Liquid News

IRWD Educates And Celebrates During May

May is Water Awareness Month and it is during this time Irvine Ranch Water District and the California Water Awareness Campaign helps customers rediscover the most precious resource on Earth. In life or business, everything begins with water, and in California, every drop counts. 

“It’s important for residents to know where their water comes from and that it needs to used wisely in both wet years and dry,” said IRWD Board President Mary Aileen Matheis.

Annually IRWD marks Water Awareness Month by educating our customers on several Resident Tours. The next tour is Saturday, May 19. These tours are an excellent way to learn about IRWD, how water gets to the tap and what happens after it goes down the drain. Tour information is located on our website.

The Water Awareness Campaign was born from one of the state's worst droughts, from 1987 to 1992. In Southern California, a normal rainfall year could be followed by several drought years. We basically live in a desert without many natural water sources, so it needs to be imported from somewhere else.

Where your water comes from depends on where you live within the water district. IRWD drinking water comes from two primary sources – local groundwater and imported water.  Blending of these two sources varies according to the time of year.

Approximately 48 percent of our overall supply comes from local groundwater wells in the Orange County Groundwater Basin, and the Irvine and Lake Forest sub-basins. In 1979, the Dyer Road Wellfield Project was developed in Santa Ana and provides low-cost, high-quality drinking water. IRWD operates 25 groundwater wells in our service area, with more planned and under development.

Around 27 percent of IRWD’s drinking water is purchased from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. This imported water comes from the Colorado River via the Colorado River Aqueduct and from Northern California via the State Water Project, or California Aqueduct.  The Colorado River Aqueduct water must travel 250 miles to reach Orange County, while the State Water Project transports supplies more than 400 miles.

Additionally, IRWD has an impressive recycled water program. At IRWD, we believe water is too valuable to only use once, so every drop of recycled water used for irrigation, industrial uses and toilet flushing, saves drinking water. This allows us to keep our water rates low.

One of our newest additions to our water portfolio is water banking. This is an important tool and opportunities for groundwater banking programs in Southern California are limited. IRWD has entered into a 30-year water banking partnership with the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District in Kern County. Unlike other existing Kern County water banking arrangements, IRWD's partnership with Rosedale provides long-term equity ownership of water banking capacity rather than the typical contract or lease arrangements employed by other agencies.

Information about the IRWD water supply is available at our website.

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