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Water Pact May End Years of Local Battles

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional
Review / DEVELOPMENTS IN ORANGE, RIVERSIDE, SAN BERNARDINO
AND VENTURA COUNTIES

June 30, 2000

ONTARIO — Local water district and city officials on Thursday unveiled what they called a "watershed agreement" ending 25 years of local battles between cities, districts, industry and agriculture over water rights in the Chino Basin Watershed.

The Inland Empire Utilities Agency, the court, the state of California and the nine-member Chino Basin Watermaster Board have agreed to a plan that officials said will improve the quality and quantity of the water supply, and increase water treatment facilities.

The basin is believed to hold at least 5.5 million acre-feet of water; 1.5 million acre-feet of fresh water is immediately usable, making it one of the state's most abundant sources of water.

Besides deciding how the water is to be divided up between various agencies, the plan calls for "recharging" the basin by importing clean water over the next five year from Northern California and for expanding facilities to clean up tainted ground water.

Local officials say they will seek funding for the added water facilities from a nearly $2-billion state water bond. Other costs will be borne by Chino Basin agencies, including Cucamonga Water District, Monte Vista Water District, the cities of Ontario, Chino, Chino Hills, Upland and Pomona, the Fontana Water Co. and the Jurupa Community Services District in Riverside.

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