The State of California has long recognized the benefits associated with recycling water. The state legislature declared that a substantial portion of future water requirements can be met economically through the beneficial use of recycled water. The intent of the legislature is for the state to undertake all possible steps to encourage the development of water recycling so that recycled water may be made available to help meet California's growing water requirements. Statutes have been added to the Porter - Cologne Water Quality Control Act that prohibits the use of water from any suitable potable-water source for the irrigation of greenbelt areas, including golf courses, cemeteries, parks, and highway landscape areas, where suitable recycled water is available.
While drinking water supplies are always vulnerable to interruption by natural forces, such as prolonged drought, conveyance issues, and climatic change, recycled water is extremely reliable and even increases with growth.
Recycled water is not readily available to all water districts. Rather, recycled water is a resource available to the few wastewater treatment agencies that have the ability to construct separate distribution facilities solely for the delivery of recycled water. In some cases the recycled water provider can have a conflict with the potable water provider in the same community. This scenario significantly reduces the ability for a community to maximize the use of recycled water.
Recycled Water Use in the Yucaipa Valley Water District
The Yucaipa Valley Water District has recognized that the current local surface water and groundwater supplies are not sufficient to meet the estimated water demands of the community. In 1992, the District completed one of our first master planning documents that identified recycled water as a valuable resource for our community. Since this time, the District has implemented a series of facilities and improvements that are now operational and capable of meeting the irrigational water demands of parks, schools, golf courses and other landscaped areas.
The District recognizes that recycled water is one of the few water supplies available during drought cycles. Therefore, maximizing the use of this water source allows the District to significantly enhance our reliability and future sustainability. Additionally, the use of recycled water provides the following benefits.
Recycled water conserves our drinking water supplies, by eliminating the need to irrigate with precious drinking water supplies.
Recycled water is a dependable, drought-proof water supply that is locally controlled.
Recycled water reduces our dependency of imported water from northern California.
Recognizing these benefits, the Yucaipa Valley Water District has adopted a sustainability plan and design standards that will require all new homes to install two water meters - one drinking water meter and one recycled water meter. The drinking water service will be used to provide drinking water to the home, pools, spas, and hose bibs connected to the house. The recycled water service will be connected to a separate recycled water pipeline that will provide recycled water for landscaping in the front and rear of the house. The use of recycled water at each new residential home is expected to decrease the amount of drinking water used at each house by more than 50%.