Beaumont_I-10 fwy Riverside County 1961
Beaumont Freeway, I-10, Riverside County, 1961

The San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency Act was passed in 1961 by the California State Legislature. The Act created the Agency and defined its powers. The Agency’s service area of approximately 225 square miles is located in Riverside County, and extends from Calimesa to Cabazon. The service area includes the incorporated cities of Calimesa, Beaumont, and Banning, and the communities of Cherry Valley, Cabazon, and the Banning Bench.

The Agency, one of 29 State Water Contractors, purchases water from the State of California and sells it to local retail water agencies. Water is imported into the service area by the California Aqueduct. Click here to learn more about the State Water Project. The final link of the State Water Project to the Pass region, the East Branch Extension, was completed in 2003. Phase 2 of the East Branch Extension is expected to be completed by 2017. Phase 2 will bring the capacity of the Extension to 17,300 acre-feet, which is the Agency’s official allotment of State Project Water. 17,300 acre-feet of water is enough to supply approximately 35,000 families each year.

For a complete history of the Agency, click here.

Milestones

1960

Voters approve State Water Project.

1961

Legislature forms Agency.

SGPWA logo-01

1962

Agency signs contract for 17,300 acre-feet per year of State Project Water (SPW).

Artificial Recharge Investigation

1964

Agency starts paying on State Water Project (SWP). Will continue to pay through 2035.

1970

Agency signs 1st Joint Facilities Agreement with San Bernardino Valley MWD to move water 17 miles closer to the Agency.

1971

U.S. Geological Survey completes report on underground storage in Pass area. (1999-D). It defines the basins within the Agency’s service area. Study investigates recharge in the Beaumont Storage Unit (BSU), also known as the Beaumont Groundwater Basin.

1978

California Department of Water Resources (DWR) completes report on extension of State Water Project (SWP) to the Coachella Valley. Report recommends the “Pass” route as the preferred alternative. The extension requires the participation of the Desert Water Agency and Coachella Valley Water District. The desert contractors do not formally elect to participate in the extension until 1991.

1986

Agency signs 2nd Joint Facilities Agreement with SBVMWD to extend State Water Project delivery facilities to Yucaipa.

1987

Agency starts specific planning for delivery facilities to the area.

1988

Agency produces report on Dependable Yield of Beaumont Basin. This is the first report on “safe yield”.

1989

Preliminary identification of artificial recharge site. Report concludes that the Beaumont Storage Unit forebay is the best site(s). Confirmation of USGS Report of 1961.

1990

Agency completes Test Wells No. 1 & 2 in the Beaumont Basin. Drilling investigates the underground soils.

field well maintenance

Out in the field well maintenance.

1991

Desert Agencies pull out of SWP extension. Agency starts a “stand alone” project to bring State Project Water to the Pass. EIR process for the project begins.


Agency completes regional water database.


Agency completes Artificial Recharge Feasibility Investigation. The investigation performs Geophysical Logging and Aquifer Pump tests and percolation tests in Little San Gorgonio Creek Spreading Grounds.

1992

Investigation of Singleton Canyon Reservoir site completed. The reservoir is removed from the facility plan as “too expensive” although technically feasible.


1st Engineer’s Report on Water Conditions is completed.


Report on Implementation of Urban Water Conservation Plan. Report includes Best Management Practices (BMP’s).

1993

Report on San Gorgonio Pass Feeder alignment is completed.


Report on population forecast and establishment of a monitoring well network.


Report published on groundwater barrier between the Beaumont Storage Unit and Banning Storage Unit.

1994

Completed EIR for East Branch Extension. Challenged in Superior Court. The court ruled the EIR adequate. The ruling is appealed to the Appellate Court, who rules the EIR inadequate and the Agency completes, in 1996, an Addendum to the EIR at a cost of $75,000.

1995

Agency completes second “Safe Yield” study of Beaumont Storage Unit. Study determines that the BSU has a safe yield of approximately 6,100 af/yr. Agency wants to correct the overdraft in the basin. The study also includes a numeric model of the basin. The model allows the Agency to investigate various operational strategies in the basin.


Agency asks California Water Commission to complete the State Water Project to the Agency. DWR completes a feasibility study and determines that it could complete the facilities requested by the Agency as a part of the SWP. The conclusions of the study bring access to SWP power and financing.

1996

First isotope study in area completed. Study finds indication that some water is very old and there appears to be no water coming into the BSU from Banning Canyon.


Agency signs agreement with DWR to construct the EAST BRANCH EXTENSION of the SWP.

1998

Starting in December 1998 and through 1999 DWR awards several contracts to complete construction of the East Branch Extension.

2002

Startup of EBX begins in March.

Citrus Reservoir Aerial

2004

Agency completes third safe yield study of the BSU in March. Study determines safe yield to be 5,000 to 6,000 af/yr.

2005

Agency begins selling water to Yucaipa Valley Water District for use in the City of Calimesa.


Agency begins strategic planning process to set priorities for next three years.


Agency completes strategic plan outlining direction of the Agency for the next several years.

2006

Agency starts selling water in large quantities to Beaumont Cherry Valley Water District to replenish the Beaumont Basin.

2007

Agency completes a water conservation and education master plan, realizing that water conservation is one of the keys to meeting future water demands.


Agency completes a recharge study of the Beaumont Basin, identifying the best locations in which to construct future recharge facilities.

2009

Agency restructures its water rate to set aside rate stabilization reserves and reserves for the purchase of additional water rights.


Agency completes a Supplemental Water Master Plan.


Agency begins work on its first Urban Water Management Plan, due in 2010.

EBX 2009