Message from the General Manager:

Watermaster's function is to administer and enforce provisions of the 1978 Judgment and subsequent orders of the Court, and to develop and implement an Optimum Basin Management Program. Working with the diverse interests of all stakeholders to administer the Judgment and preserve a resource as vital as groundwater in Chino Basin is the most rewarding and meaningful challenge of my 35 year career in water management.

We are caring, collaborative professionals who truly value the spirit of teamwork. For us, management of Chino Basin means working with technical and legal experts, and staying connected with all stakeholders in the Basin as well as governing agencies throughout the state. Our vision for continued success is to add value through high quality work, transparency, and education of stakeholders on the many provisions of the Judgment, to enable them to effectively manage their share of the resource to benefit their customers.

We have recently concluded the second reevaluation of the basin’s safe yield; the safe yield was lowered reflecting the effects of continued development, conservation, and the long-term drought. We have also completed the first update of the Optimum Basin Management Program for Chino Basin that was first adopted in the year 2000, and has been successfully implemented since then. The updated management program, called the 2020 OBMP, includes a storage management plan for effectively utilizing storage in the basin up to 1 million acre-feet of water. The storage space can be used to enhance local reliability and to enable storage-and-recovery programs by outside entities. We are moving forward with the programmatic evaluation of the 2020 OBMP and plan to complete that by October 2023 to support any forward changes the parties to the Judgment agree to make to the OBMP Implementation Plan.

Chino Basin is among the largest groundwater basins in Southern California, and certainly one of the most actively studied and managed. Management of the Basin under the OBMP went in effect in 2000, almost 15 years ahead of the State’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act which now requires groundwater basins in California to be managed in a similar fashion as Chino Basin. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested locally to protect and enhance the basin and support the near $1.5B economy of the region. I am incredibly excited to be part of this, and to lead our dedicated team as we do our part for approximately 1.2M people that call this area their home.

Peter Kavounas, P.E.

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