SMWDSanta Margarita Water District (California)
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In the last two months, SMWD disclosed the water level at the watershed had gone down to a "critical level" -a major factor in the unprecedented water supply interruption that locals had complained during the period.
At the heart of the problem is the decades-old problem of illegal mining at the watershed, SMWD and local officials admit.
SMWD has accused small-scale miners of illegally tapping into the water district pipelines for mining uses.
Faced by mounting pressures from SMWD and law enforcement authorities, the miners grouped themselves under the Nagkahiusang Gagmay'ng Minero (Nagami) and filed for a 20-hectare Minahang Bayan application to legalize their operations.
SMWD and the local business chamber opposed the move, noting that the area sought by Nagami encroaches on the watershed's one-kilometer buffer zone.
Young Allaniel Bumanglag, manager of UCPB-Surigao said they have convinced SMWD to borrow P202, 759, 963.14 after offering the lowest interest rate.
Mora Jr., the chairman of the Board of Director of SMWD said that they are so thankful to the UCPB for giving them such interest rate.
He said that in 2000 the SMWD obtained a loan of P250 million from LWUA for its projects which is payable in 25 years, and began paying P2.3 million every month since 2004.
Water captured by the project will be supplied to water utilities including the SMWD, Three Valleys Municipal Water District, Suburban Water Systems, Golden State Water Company, Jurupa Community Services District and California Water Service Company.
It was designed by leading groundwater experts, in consultation with SMWD and San Bernardino County staff, and was finalized after receiving input from stakeholders and the public.