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Rancho California Water District purchases land surrounding Vail Lake

Monday, August 25, 2014 9:00 PM

RCWD has owned Vail Dam, Vail Lake and the associated state water rights permit since 1978. The lands that surround Vail Lake were owned by various corporate entities and consist of open space, an RV campground, and associated fishing and water recreation membership operations on the lake.

The District uses water stored in Vail Lake as part of its recharge for the groundwater basin that provides approximately 25% - 40 % of the District's water supply.

Groundwater provides high quality water to RCWD customers, provides a reliable water source during drought times, partially insulates customers from imported water price increases and is significantly less expensive than imported water. By purchasing the land surrounding Vail RCWD News Release 2 Lake, the District is seeking to protect the quality of its water supplies and enhance the reliability of those supplies.

RCWD purchased the lands around Vail Lake through bankruptcy proceedings. Vail Lake is an important asset to the community and the District plans to continue to protect this asset. The District will work with a new operator for fishing and camping facilities and will continue to honor current fishing and water sports memberships issued by the former operator through their expiration or December 31, 2015, whichever is sooner. A number of events with outside promoters that were identified by the former operator will continue as planned, subject to satisfactory arrangements with the new operator. Security is currently in place in order to control unauthorized access to the property and to deter theft and vandalism, thus providing for safety and enjoyment of the facilities.

Over the next several months RCWD's Board of Directors will evaluate recreation and campground activities moving forward. The Board will have to look at the impacts to the lake, the input from the community, condition of facilities, financial requirements, compatibility of uses, public health and safety, security, and other relevant factors in order to make a decision on how best to manage the land surrounding the lake focusing on balancing watershed protection and the community's concerns.


Formed in 1965, Rancho California Water District supplies an area consisting of approximately 150 square miles. The District serves the area known as Temecula/Rancho California, which includes the City of Temecula, parts of Murrieta, and other contiguous lands. The District is separated into two divisions: the Santa Rosa Division generally west of I-15 and Rancho Division generally east of I-15. The District currently provides sewer service to the Cal Oaks and Bear Creek areas.

"The mission of the Rancho California Water District is to deliver reliable, high-quality water, wastewater and reclamation services to its customers and communities in a prudent and sustainable manner."

News Release

DATE: August 26, 2014
RELEASE: Immediate
CONTACT: Meggan Valencia
951-296-6922 office