Editor's Note: The following article was submitted for publication by the city of Beaumont. Text by: Steve Moore. Photos by: Rodrigo Pena.
Working together for water
More than a century ago, Beaumont farmers irrigated their crops with stream water.
Today, our water comes from a vast, computerized network of pipelines, pumps, and reservoirs.
Over the decades, these advances in water delivery have helped create a thriving, dynamic city of nearly 40,000 people. It’s our way of helping assure growth and prosperity for our hometown and protecting and enhancing the Beaumont Basin.
“The future possibilities of our Basin are almost limitless,” says Councilman Brian De Forge. “And by all of us working together, generations to come will be able to enjoy plentiful, high-quality and affordable water.”
Working closely with the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District, the city of Beaumont has spent more than $100 million on water projects. This partnership has produced many new improvements that will brighten our future. (Developers pay fees to build public improvements under the city’s pioneering Community Facilities Districts program.)
Water lines now run under bustling Interstate 10 and lured the Beaumont Marketplace, Wal-Mart and Home Depot to town. Strategic, new reservoirs can store 16.75 million gallons of water. Recycled water will soon keep our golf courses green to save precious groundwater.
Since 2000, the Community Facilities Districts program has built the following projects:
- Transmission lines: $24.4 million
- Reservoirs: $23 million
- Spreading ponds and water conservation projects: $16.8 million
- Well upgrades (Palm Avenue): $12.5 million
- Monitoring wells/water recycling projects: $2.5 million
- Wastewater treatment plant expansion and upgrading, water recycling, and storm drains: $21.2 million
Total: $100.4 million
This forward-looking city always searches for opportunities to create a better tomorrow. And by working together, Beaumont can help advance the cause of water—just like our pioneering forefathers did.
Beaumont believes the private sector and local government can team up and serve the public interest when it comes to water.
“Beaumont’s inspired way of doing public improvements shows how builders and local government, working cooperatively, can improve everyday life,” said Mayor Roger Berg.
Beaumont’s Water History
- 1887: Southern California Investment Co. subdivides Beaumont and Cherry Valley.
- 1907: The Beaumont Land and Water Co. is formed and farmers divert stream water for their crops.
- 1919: The Beaumont Irrigation District is formed and wells are drilled in Edgar Canyon.
- 1935: The first wells are sunk in the Beaumont Basin.
- 1961: The San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is formed to bring State Project water to the area.
- 1970: The Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District is formed.
- 1993: The Community Facilities Districts program is created in Beaumont.
- 1994: The city’s wastewater treatment plant is expanded and upgraded.
- 2002: The first imported state water arrives by pipeline to the Beaumont Basin.
- 2004: Water rights are established for the first time for major users under a process called adjudication.
- 2012: Beaumont and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians sign an agreement where the tribe will store state water in the Beaumont Basin.
Mayor Pro tem David Castaldo has become the city’s “water ambassador,” working hand-in-hand with the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District and the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency.
“In Beaumont, we look for solutions and work together for the common good,” he said. “And just like previous generations, we’re good stewards of water.”