News Feature | June 27, 2014

Controversial Plan Offers Recycled Water Across Jurisdictional Lines

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome


Is recycled water the next great hope for the water supply, or just a major inconvenience? Depends who you're talking to. 

Yucaipa Valley Water District near San Bernardino, CA, says it will soon be offering a treated supply to parks and schools in nearby districts, the San Bernardino County Sun reported. "That prospect has rankled officials from those nearby water agencies."

This conflict has become the basis for a fight in the legislature. 

Water utilities in nearby districts are working to stop Assembly Bill 2443, which would make it easier for Yucaipa to provide service across jurisdictional lines.

Tim Green, assistant general manager of the Western Heights Water, is among those opposed to the bill.  

"[He] said the proposed legislation would trample on constitutional and property rights of mutual water companies, which do not make a profit and are owned by its customers," the report said.

Jim Byerrum, president of a the mutual's water association, added his opposition, as well. 

“We believe that the bill’s authors are sincere in their wish to expand the use of recycled water. We also believe that they have been misguided by officials of unscrupulous water districts who are proposing a 'quick fix' to their badly planned water recycling projects,” he said in the Sun report. 

Yucaipa's supporters say its plan will save water. 

"Joseph Zoba, general manager of the Yucaipa Valley Water District, said his agency just wants to get less expensive recycled water on lawns at schools and parks, saving groundwater and water from the state aqueduct for people," the report said. 

In lobbying to promote the measure, Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, an author of the legislation, emphasized the importance of recycled water. 

"Moving forward, [recycled water] has to be a huge part [of efforts to mitigate the effects of the drought]," he said to NBC Los Angeles.

Check out Water Online's Regulations & Legislation Solution Center.

Image credit: "Recycle Reduce Reuse," kevin dooley © 2007, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license:

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