The Chino Basin is one of the largest Groundwater basins in Southern California.
Groundwater, which is water contained in between soils and gravels in the ground beneath our communities, is pumped up, cleaned, and distributed to us by our local water agencies.
The Chino Groundwater Basin contains approximately 5 million acre-feet of water. However, only approximately 90,000 acre feet of that water can be used in a single year, in order for the basin to remain sustainably managed and to ensure this resource is not depleted over time. You can picture an acre foot of water by imagining an area a little smaller than the size of a football field flooded in one foot of water. The average residential household in our area uses approximately half an acre foot of water per year.
The Chino Basin Watermaster is a public agency that was created to monitor and sustainably manage the Chino Groundwater Basin, coordinating the quantity of water from the Chino Basin that each user, such as your water provider, pumps from the ground.
While the service area of the Waterwise Community Center and Chino Basin Water Conservation District is in San Bernardino County, natural features like groundwater basins do not follow county lines. About 80% of the Chino Groundwater Basin is located in San Bernardino County, about 15% is in Riverside County, and about 5% is in Los Angeles County.
While water providers pump, clean, and distribute groundwater from the Chino Basin each year, the basin recharges naturally though storm events and snowmelt. In addition to this natural recharge, Percolation Basins operated by Chino Basin Water Conservation District and other agencies capture stormwater from local creeks and channels to help recharge the groundwater with water that would otherwise be lost to our communities. We can help too. By incorporating smaller infiltration features like dry streambeds into our gardens and landscapes, which capture and percolate water on site, we can also help recharge our shared water resource.