LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is making improvements to enhance recreation at Diamond Valley Lake, recently named 2018’s number two destination in the West for bass fishing by Bassmaster Magazine.
The lake near Hemet in southwest Riverside County is Southern California’s largest drinking water reservoir. To outdoor enthusiasts, it is known for its great fishing, extensive hiking and biking trails and spectacular wildflower blooms. Recent improvements now offer visitors new, permanent marina restrooms and may soon include longer hours for approved activities in early mornings and evenings.
“These improvements represent creative, cost-efficient ways to build on recreational uses of our stunning Diamond Valley Lake,” said Metropolitan board Chairman Randy Record. “We have invested millions of dollars into turning this resource into a world-class fishing destination. We look forward to more conversations with our partners about how we can work together to continue making improvements to the area for the benefit of local residents and visitors alike, while protecting our water and natural resources.”
Expanded marina hours have been made possible by recent upgrades to the facility’s main access road to protect local wildlife, most active at night. Metropolitan installed 10 steel plates over concrete culverts on either side of the road to ensure animals can safely cross, and added rumble strips and signs to slow traffic. The road improvements mean the marina’s concessionaire could keep the marina open during pre-dawn and late-night hours. The marina currently operates from sunrise to sunset, except for special events. Metropolitan also is currently seeking a long-term concessionaire through a request for proposals process.
In addition, Metropolitan is exploring the possibility of connecting the trails between Diamond Valley Lake and nearby Lake Skinner. Body contact activities remain prohibited at the reservoir to ensure the safety of the region’s drinking water.
The improvements align with a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding Metropolitan signed last year with Eastern Municipal Water District, city of Hemet, Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District and Riverside County to explore long-term potential development of recreational facilities surrounding the lake. The MOU outlines responsibilities of each agency regarding improvements, much of which will depend on outside funding sources, including private investors and grant funding.
“While our primary mission is to deliver a high-quality, reliable water supply to millions of Southern California residents, we value the opportunity to work with our communities, including those surrounding our facilities, to enhance recreational opportunities and protect our natural resources,” Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.