Catching the rain that does fall on the county, it’s then put to good use with The Enhanced Stormwater Capture and Recharge Project (Recharge Project) on the Santa Ana River near the Seven Oaks Dam. Rather than losing water to evaporation and runoff, the Recharge Project uses Santa Ana River water to replenish sedimentation basins capable of handling 500 cubic feet per second. Those waters then seep into groundwater basins that are later pumped and conveyed to local water agencies. Riverside County extracts its water from three groundwater basins: Bunker Hill Basin in San Bernardino, Rialto Colton Basin in Colton, and the Riverside Basin. These are usually filled by rain and snowmelt, but at a slower pace due to drought conditions. With the Recharge Project and other conservation efforts, annual analysis of groundwater levels by local water agencies shows significant increases over the past 10 years throughout most of the Coachella Valley.
In the City of Riverside, projects such as the Jackson Street Recycled Water Pipeline Project will add approximately 26,000 linear feet of 8-inch and 24-inch diameter pipeline to provide an estimated 821 acre foot a year (AFY) of recycled water to existing and future customers along its path. The project improves water supply by reducing the amount of water discharged into the Santa Ana River.