The Highland Community News applauds the cooperative spirit that local water agencies have embraced in the past few years and the progress they have made on several significant projects.
In early February, we published a commentary by San Bernardino City Manager Andrea Miller, East Valley Water District General Manager John Mura and San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District General Manager Douglas Headrick under the headline, “A new model for resolving problems emerges.”
“Moving forward, we believe that resolving our problems through cooperation must serve as the model for how public agencies work together for the public good,” they wrote.
Last week, we published a similar column. This time Headrick teamed up with Daniel Cozad, general manager of the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, touting the creation of the San Bernardino Basin Groundwater Council.
Six water agencies, Loma Linda University and three cities have joined so far in an effort make sure the Bunker Hill Basin is recharged at an optimum level and that any agency that withdraws water pays its fair share.
“Because the groundwater basin is a shared resource and the responsibility for managing it in a practical way must be shared, too,” they wrote.
The effort led by the conservation district to bring together seemingly conflicting interests — miners and environmentalists — to devise a smarter way to manage the Santa Ana River Wash and the Habitat Conservation Plan is another shining example of the cooperative spirit.
It’s taken 20 years to get to this point, but last year the House unanimously approved the land-exchange bill authored by Republican Rep. Paul Cook and Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar. It now awaits a vote in the full Senate.
We’re also celebrating the East Valley district’s two milestones in the development of the Sterling Natural Resource Center. It secured $126 million in state funding and the county’s Local Agency Formation Commission approved the district’s wastewater treatment authority.
It is heartwarming to see that our local leaders have the patience and perseverance to find common ground on these complex issues.