This is my response to the State of California asking for ideas to a call for action to expand water storage capacity and improve groundwater management.
Living in Southwest Riverside California where 60+ percent of the water supplied by the local districts is imported due to an already depleted groundwater environment I see numerous areas where water is wasted.
One being the re-use of reclaimed water. Currently reclaimed water from the Santa Margarita watershed at Temecula is pumped north to the Santa Ana watershed rather than being re-used locally, other than a small portion being used to stabilize Lake Elsinore and watering some parks and schools. Part of this is due to the quantity and quality of the reclaimed water entering the Murrieta Creek a short distance from the ocean. An idea would be to take a portion of this reclaimed water being pumped north out of its current watershed, and introducing it into several of the ephemeral streams during their normally dry periods allowing for further cleansing by a natural process of stream flow, being this amount would be a known quantity it could by adjusted so that a large portion of this new flow would recharge the groundwater basin rather than flow to the ocean. This new flow would intern create new wildlife corridors and increase flow in existing threatened stream beds during times of drought.
Another method to increase groundwater recharge would be to either core holes or create channels in the existing concrete lined flood control channels creating places for additional reclaimed water to be introduced to opportunities to recharge the groundwater basins while still providing for flood control, primarily during dry periods rather than allowing this immense amount of reclaimed water that started out as imported water to be discharged into the ocean used only once
If anyone has an idea they would like to share with the state the can read what is already being proposed and submit their ideas at http://www.opr.ca.gov/s_groundwater.php
Was thinking today about all the problems with getting the parks open in Wildomar and recalled a recent project proposed by the City of Wildomar in their 5 year Community Improvement Program for what is being called Gateway Park.
This is a proposed park at the corner of Malaga Rd and Mission Trail that is a pet project of the City Manager for the City of Wildomar with a proposed budget of $100,000 assuming that the city can acquire the property from the County of Riverside for $0. The entire purpose of this park is to make the City of Lake Elsinore move their “Welcome to Lake Elsinore Sign”across the intersection into the City of Lake Elsinore rather than being located in Wildomar which seems to really bother the city manager to no end.
Rather than spending $100,000 on this ridiculous make believe park project would it not be more feasible to spend this money on getting a joint use agreement and fixing up the playground area at Jean Hayman Elementary School to utilize as a real park for the residents of North Wildomar, especially since this closed facility has access to reclaimed water which was brought there after the school was closed.
Might even make sense to spend the money cleaning up a former park located at Gafford Rd and Great Falls Rd. which is located in a retention basin former controlled by Ortega Trails. The cement pad for a basketball court is still there in this all but forgotten area of Wildomar.
At a recent Wildomar City Council meeting staff commented that in order to bring reclaimed or recycled water to Marna O’Brien park the cost would come out to around $800,000.
This number may be correct if one were to only consider bringing water a distance of 1.1 miles to one user (Marna O’Brien Park) that would use approximately 30-40 acre feet of water annually but if one were to extend that line another one mile and add an additional two users, William Collier Elementary and Serenity Park in Lake Elsinore (possibly 3 users when Regency Heritage Parks problems are resolved) all using approximately the same amount of water each for a total of 90-120 acre feet of water annually.
With the cost divided amongst 3 entities, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore Unified School District and the City of Lake Elsinore, all seeking grants from the State California who has declared a state of drought emergency the cost could be negligible. The cost could be reduced even further if the line were carried to the back basin which would bring in the Lake Elsinore and San Jacinto Watershed Authority JPA as well as the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, this along with the Lakeland Village School on Grand Ave.
When is Wildomar going to look at the big picture rather try to sell its citizens the lie that we are in it alone and can’t afford to do anything.
FYI – the current capacity of the Palomar Recycled Water Booster Station owned by Eastern Municipal Water District for a cost of $6 million, which is located behind the cemetery in Wildomar, has a capacity of 24,000 Gallons per Minute which is 36 million gallons a day. The current usage by 25 users is about 700 acre feet annually (about a weeks worth of current capacity)with the balance going ?