About

How Replenish Big Bear recovers our lost water

 

A new water legacy

The current water cycle is broken. Our only source of water enters as precipitation, then flows into the lake or soaks into the ground to become groundwater. After our community uses groundwater for our potable water needs, the wastewater is treated at our local treatment plant and pumped out of the Valley to irrigate crops in Lucerne Valley. Through this current practice—simply a method of disposal—we are losing millions of gallons of local water each day.

Replenish Big Bear captures and purifies our lost water, and uses it to enhance water levels throughout the Valley. This new supplemental water source will help restore lake levels, which have seen extremely low levels over the past 15 years and were only 40 percent to full as recently as November 2018. The water will also be used to recharge groundwater levels in the Valley, which will protect our community's drinking water supply. 

CLOSING OUR WATER LOOP

REPLENISH BIG BEAR CAPTURES OUR LOST WATER
The water is treated to drinking water standards and used to enhance water levels in the lake, other area water bodies, and our groundwater basin.

800

MILLION GALLONS
of the Valley's water is disposed of each year. This amounts to more than half a year's worth of water for Big Bear Valley.

All water has value.

Replenish Big Bear keeps more of our water in the Valley, and represents a new way of thinking about our most essential natural resource—that all water has value.

How it works

Replenish Big Bear will use advanced treatment processes to treat water currently piped out of the Valley, and use it to restore water levels above and below ground throughout Big Bear Valley.  

1.

A higher level of treatment

Big Bear’s existing wastewater treatment processes will be upgraded with proven advanced treatment technology to produce more than 600 million gallons of high quality water each year that exceeds drinking water standards.

2.

Healthier habitat for our fish and wildlife

A small portion of the high quality water will be piped through an existing recycled water pipeline to Shay Pond, providing a consistent source of water to sustain 10 acres of habitat for the endangered Unarmored Threespined Stickleback fish. Potable water currently used for this purpose can be reserved for the community.

3.

Steady water levels throughout the year

The rest of the high quality water will be sent via a new pump station and pipeline to the Stanfield Marsh and enhance 145 acres of wetland habitat. Water from the marsh will continuously flow into Big Bear Lake to provide higher, more stable lake levels throughout the year, and could increase lake levels by up to five feet in dry years.

4.

A secure source of potable water

During dry periods, water can be pumped from the lake to Sand Canyon to soak into the groundwater basin and increase potable water supply. This water could also be used to irrigate the golf course to preserve the groundwater supply. During wet periods, water currently used for irrigation outside of the Valley could be used to create additional snow and increase spring runoff.

As clean as from the tap  

The water used to replenish water levels throughout Big Bear Valley will exceed even state and federal drinking water standards.

Our path to a secure water future

FUNDING APPLICATIONS

Potential funding options are being evaluated, including  grants and low-interest loans.

ENVIRONMENTAL CLEARANCE

Environmental assessments are underway to obtain all required approvals and permits.

2018

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

The project team is working with regulators to ensure the project meets all local, state, and federal requirements in a cost-effective way.

PILOT FACILITY

A pilot facility will be constructed and operated to confirm that the new treatment processes deliver the required water quality results.

PRELIMINARY ENGINEERING

The engineering team will evaluate and confirm the most effective way to deliver the project’s goals.

FINAL DESIGN

Design details established during Preliminary Engineering will be refined based on pilot testing and finalized for construction.

CONSTRUCTION & STARTUP

Upgrades to the treatment plant and supporting infrastructure will be constructed and tested during a start up period.

2019

2022

2021

2020

"Together, we will keep a valuable water resource in the Valley. The benefits of the project will support recreation so our tourism economy can continue to thrive, improve the habitat for our area's fish and wildlife, and protect our essential water supplies for years to come."

- David Lawrence, BBARWA General Manager

Working today to secure water for a thriving Big Bear Valley tomorrow.
QUICK LINKS
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
Partner agencies coming together to secure Big Bear Valley's water future