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Frequently Asked Questions

Needles Water Crisis

ANSWER: Under western water laws, the city can’t pull a single drop from the river.  The Colorado River flows through town and the city has rights to 1,272-acre-feet of water each year

ANSWER:  Among the heavy water users in the city are 14 marijuana-growing facilities, which also contribute a fair amount to city finances through cultivation taxes and a 10% local excise tax on production. The city puts tax receipts back into upgrading the water system.

Southern California Water Issues

ANSWER:  California currently has 12 seawater desalination facilities in operation. The Huntington Beach proposal has the backing of Governor Gavin Newsom who said he wants to diversify the state’s water supply.

ANSWER: Currently in California, about 10 percent of wastewater in municipal and industrial usage is recycled. The goal of Operation NEXT is to upgrade the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant so that it recycles 100 percent of its wastewater by 2035, producing enough purified water to sustain nearly a million households in LA.

ANSWER:  One example would be the Green Street project in North Hollywood along Victory Boulevard east of Goodland in the Valley Glen neighborhood. Runoff is captured on the island with vegetation, and in underground chambers below the roadway, percolates through the soil and replenishes groundwater below that, that will someday be drinking water.  By diverting water from streets, the water would have otherwise gone into the storm drain and into the LA River, and straight into the ocean.  

The recent rains did not bring enough to be much of a test, but just this one project — and more are coming — is designed to gather enough water to cover 100 acres a foot deep in a year.  Or to put it another way, that is about 50 Olympic-sized pools a year.  Every drop matters.

ANSWER:  Californians have taken steps to address major threats to our water resources. But a recent report underscored that the climate is changing faster than anticipated and that many of these changes are already locked in. Rising temperatures are making our winters shorter and our droughts more intense, outpacing our ability to manage water supplies and the natural environment. We need to act with urgency to adapt to these changes.


ANSWER: The building of new homes would likely affect smaller water systems and not large, urban suppliers where housing developments are typically based.  We don’t foresee a big impact on the state housing stock.  There is some consideration of a bill in the state legislature that would exempt affordable housing projects from moratoriums. Unlike single-family homes, affordable housing developments rarely have elaborate landscaping and come with water-efficient appliances and plumbing. Whether there’s a formal moratorium or not, developers could see pushback at the local level when it comes to building permits.

Prohibiting new connections also won’t solve a problem and could force people into older homes that are less water-efficient.  Unfortunately, it won’t take us out of the drought by taking away new development.

ANSWER:  On April 23, 2021, an Assistant Deputy Director of the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights, transmitted a draft cease-and-desist order to Nestlé Waters North America, Inc.  To date, this is still being handled in the courts.

ANSWER:  The state does release water into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, an estuary where saltwater from the sea mixes with fresh water from Sierra snowpack runoff. Water from the delta is used for irrigation and drinking water, and if too little freshwater is present, then seawater would fill the gaps.

If you stopped allowing some freshwater to migrate, what you would have is salt water.  The water that is diverted would be saltwater, and it would be unfit to drink and unfit to irrigate crops with.

Salton Sea Restoration

ANSWER:  The California Natural Resources Agency was tasked with coming up with a long-term fix by the end of 2022, and 11 plans on the table focus mainly on one big idea: pulling in water across the U.S.-Mexican border from the Sea of Cortez north to the Salton Sea. Some proposals are more ambitious than others, envisioning tourism and shipping industries popping up along the desert canal.

Though full costs are unknown, fixing the Salton Sea arguably would be the biggest North American water project since the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s.

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ANSWER: In 2021, Brightline West signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CalSTA, Caltrans, and California High-Speed Rail Authority to extend the system further into Southern California, into a new station in Rancho Cucamonga. This new station will connect with Metrolink’s existing platform for easy connectivity into LA Union Station and other major destinations throughout Southern California. Click here for more details and a rendering of the station.

ANSWER: Brightline West’s system will run in a dedicated, protected corridor in the I-15 right-of-way.Q: How does this benefit SoCal? It seems Vegas benefits with commutes TO Vegas.A: Brightline West will provide regional connectivity between Southern California and Las Vegas, and provide millions of passengers traveling between these areas, including California residents and Nevadans heading to Southern California, with a faster, cleaner, and hospitality-focused ride in about half the time of driving. The station in Rancho Cucamonga will have connectivity with Metrolink, Omnitrans, as well as the proposed underground tunnel from that area to Ontario International Airport. Brightline West will also create jobs and significant tax revenue for Southern California, and its all-electric, zero-emission trains will remove 400,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and reduce vehicle miles traveled by 935 million every year.

ANSWER: All station locations will include seamless first and last-mile connectivity options, including public transportation, rideshare, possible shuttle service, and access to direct points of interest, such as hotel and resort properties throughout the Las Vegas Strip.

ANSWER: The station in Rancho Cucamonga is part of an envisioned multi-modal transit hub called Cucamonga Station, in the HART District. Part of those plans with local stakeholders include a proposed underground tunnel from Cucamonga Station to Ontario International Airport, facilitating passengers getting to and from the airport to destinations throughout Southern California – faster and with fewer emissions. The tunnel is not part of Brightline West’s system, however.