Agreement cuts reliance on imported water for the first time in District history

(Rowland Heights, Calif., May 18, 2012) – For the first time since its incorporation in 1953, Rowland Water District (RWD) will reduce its 100 percent reliance on Metropolitan Water District for the water it provides to its customers. In this unprecedented Water Production and Delivery Agreement, RWD will continue to ensure the reliability of its water supply and reduce the impacts of imported water costs. The additional water owned or leased by RWD will soon be produced and delivered by La Habra Heights County Water District (LHHCWD) and Orchard Dale Water District (ODWD), which are already bound by a separate water production agreement.

“This presents a historic opportunity for Rowland Water District and therefore our ratepayers,” said Ken Deck, General Manager of Rowland Water District. “The high quality water we will receive through La Habra Heights will cost less than water from our primary provider, MWD. As a Special District, we must charge customers the actual cost of providing them with the water that comes out of their taps. Therefore, any savings directly benefits our customers.”

Rowland Water District anticipates that it will save approximately $150-$300 per acre foot for water obtained through this Agreement in direct comparison to water purchased from MWD, which transports water from the State Water Project in northern California to MWD’s Weymouth Treatment Facility in La Verne and from Three Valleys Miramar Treatment Facility in Claremont, which includes water from the Colorado River Aqueduct. Water from these two facilities enters Rowland’s service area from the District’s northeast boundaries.

“By acquiring water from various purveyors at different entry points to the District, we are preparing for unplanned water delivery interruptions that could be caused by natural disasters or other emergencies,” said Deck.

Before RWD can receive water at its southwest boundary through LHHCWD, it must design and construct a pipeline in Old Fullerton Road from East Road in La Habra Heights to Harbor Boulevard in Rowland Heights. This .8 mile pipeline will cost an estimated $750,000 and take a projected four to six weeks to complete. Construction is expected to begin in Fall 2012. This arrangement means RWD could receive as much as 2000 acre feet (approximately 651 million gallons) of groundwater each year from this new source, which is about 10 percent of its annual supply.

“Many southern California water agencies are dependent upon imported sources. As stewards of this natural resource, we are also responsible for ensuring that our communities have access to safe, reliable water even when disaster strikes. The leadership at Orchard Dale and La Habra Heights County Water Districts are proud to be a part of this forward-thinking plan that connects southern California agencies, and begins to loosen agencies’ ties to northern California supplies,” said Michael Gualtieri, General Manager of LHHCWD.

LHHCWD expects to collect about $100,000 each year from RWD in wheeling fees, which will help offset facility operation and maintenance costs. The Water Production and Delivery Agreement, which took approximately 20 months to complete, has provisions that give LHHCWD and ODWD first priority to pumping, transmission and storage pursuant to the Orchard Dale Agreement of 1957. It also mandates minimum water reserves at LHHCWD that prevent reliability threats to its customers. The term of the Agreement is 20 years, with renewal opportunities in subsequent five-year periods.

For more information about Rowland Water District visit www.rowlandwater.com or call 562-697-1726.

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