Benefits of the Project Include:
- The creation of a reliable and flexible water supply for southern California communities. The Water Project is not dependent upon the water rights, the hydrology and environmental restrictions attributable to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the hydrology of the Colorado River, or drought.
- Conservation of 1.6 million acre-feet of fresh water over the 50 year life of the Water Project; water that would have been lost to evaporation or salt contamination beneath the dry lakes.
- Providing clean fresh water. The native groundwater quality meets or exceeds state and national standards.
- Preservation of the desert ecology and habitats because Water Project wells will be built on privately owned land and the pipeline will be constructed alongside active railroad tracks. Also, the water is withdrawn after it has been used by the flora and fauna above. Native plants on the desert floor do not use groundwater, and the mountain springs are not fed by the aquifer where the Project will pump. In technical terms, there is no hydrogeologic communication between the groundwater aquifer system and the bedrock systems that feed the regional springs.
- Reduced carbon footprint and lower energy costs for southern Californians because the water originates locally in San Bernardino County and can be transported shorter distances at lower cost compared to water imported from Northern California.
- Local economic stimulus through the creation of good paying jobs building the $250 million project. With the national unemployment rate hovering around 8% and that of San Bernardino County at approximately 11.8% as of August 2012, jobs in construction, engineering and manufacturing are needed. The Water Project will hire locally and union workers are expected to build some of the project.
- Improved transportation and rail safety because the Project will provide water to the local Arizona & California Railroad for critical railroad purposes such as fire suppression. The Project will also improve the railroad’s access to highways and power in the area.
- Future capacity and potential for water storage to maximize the value of the project facilities. Potentially, water could be imported from the Colorado River Aqueduct or State Water Project and banked in the aquifer, taking advantage of the facilities built on private land. These water deliveries could be phased and offer additional benefits such as saving surplus water in wet years, providing reliability, and better protecting imported water from evaporative losses.
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