“We’ve done the planning and designed the projects – now we are working on the smartest and most advantageous way to pay for them. WATERSHED CONNECT creates new opportunities for collaboration at a regional, state, and national level. We’re excited to see where this program takes us.”

Heather Dyer

CEO/General Manager of the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District
WATERSHED CONNECT is a regional infrastructure program consisting of forward-looking projects designed to achieve water supply reliability, climate resilience, and long-term ecological health of the Upper Santa Ana River Watershed in Southern California.

WATERSHED CONNECT evolved out of the need for a coordinated water infrastructure system in a region that sees, on average, less than 15 inches of rain per year.

WSC worked with program leaders to develop WATERSHED CONNECT in the Summer of 2021 following the announcement of additional funding from the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  While agencies often spend a year or more preparing to apply for WIFIA funding, this team only had 10 weeks.

The quick, collaborative approach resulted in an invitation to WATERSHED CONNECT to apply for up to $177 million in federal funding. The program was one of only 39 new projects invited to apply for the competitive low-interest loan program.

WATERSHED CONNECT is governed by the Upper Santa Ana River Watershed Infrastructure Financing Authority, a Joint Powers Authority representing San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, City of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department, and Yucaipa Valley Water District.

San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District was recently recognized by the international Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) as a Utility of the Future Today. This program recognizes the achievements of utilities that focus on efforts on energy, nutrients, and recycled water; community partnering; and leadership in social, economic, and environmental sustainability. SBVMWD was recognized for the WATERSHED CONNECT program and their commitment to watershed stewardship and creative water supply solutions.

Learn more about the project at watershedconnect.net.