County approves Prop. 84 subgrant to RCWD

Riverside County has approved a Proposition 84 Integrated Regional Water Management implementation subgrant agreement with the Rancho California Water District.

The Riverside County board of supervisors also acts as the board of the Riverside County Regional Park and Open Space District. The county supervisors voted 3-0 with Marion Ashley absent and one vacancy to approve the subgrant agreement March 21, while also authorizing future ministerial amendments which do not fundamentally
change the scope or intent of the original agreement.

In November 2006, the state’s voters approved Proposition 84, which authorized $1 billion for integrated water management programs. The state Department of Water Resources provides grants to local public agencies and nonprofit organizations for projects which improve water supply reliability or project which improve or protect water quality.

In August 2015, the RCWD submitted a Proposition 84 application and was awarded funding for four enhancement projects along the Santa Margarita Watershed. One of those projects is the turf reduction program at Riverside County parks. The project at the Lake Skinner Recreation Area will remove some existing turf areas, install drought-tolerant native plants and trees, install permeable ground cover to allow for the infiltration of rain water, retrofit existing irrigation systems for water use efficiency and install interpretative signage intended to educate park visitors about water conservation.

Although the Riverside County Regional Park and Open Space District is responsible for the Lake Skinner Recreation Area, DWR requires Proposition 84 grant agreements to be entered into with a single eligible grant recipient. The RCWD is willing to serve as the lead for the Lake Skinner Recreation Area project and to enter into subgrant agreements for components of that and other projects.

The subgrant amount is for $300,000. The total estimated cost of the park project is $409,211, and the fund balance in the district’s capital improvement program fund will allow for $109,211, covering the required local match. The county expects that the reduction in water and maintenance costs will offset the capital costs of the project over the long term.

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