Sterling Natural Resource Center

The state-of-the-art water reclamation facility will create a new drought-resistant water source for the region and replenish the local groundwater basin, while providing opportunities for community education.



  • Highland, California, USA


  • East Valley Water District

Project Value

  • $150M

Project Status

  • 2021

The 92,000-acre Bunker Hill Basin in the San Bernardino Valley of California provides water to about 650,000 people in the region. However, this groundwater source, which stores approximately 5 million acre-feet of water, is at historic lows. To combat the problem, East Valley Water District proposed development of a state-of-the-art water reclamation facility to capture and treat wastewater, and recharge the basin with the recycled water.

The 14-acre Sterling Natural Resource Center (SNRC) advanced wastewater treatment plant in the City of Highland, California that will produce up to 10 million gallons of disinfected recycled water per day. The plant will use the latest membrane bioreactor technology that is quiet and odorless, thereby allowing it serve multiple purposes beyond its core function, including supporting education, entertainment and leisure.

In addition to the plant’s treatment and conveyance infrastructure, the SNRC will incorporate indoor and outdoor community event spaces, amphitheater, sustainable garden, picnic areas, walking trails, and classrooms and laboratories to facilitate educational partnerships with local schools.

Most importantly, the $150 million SNRC will replenish the Bunker Hill Basin with hundreds of millions of gallons of recycled water and establish a new sustainable source of local water to provide resilience again future droughts.

WSP is supporting the design-build project team with engineering design of the off-site collection/conveyance pipelines, which will be constructed along the existing rights of way. The project broke ground in October 2018 and construction is expected to be completed in 2021.

Check out East Valley Water District's conceptual fly through of the SNRC:

SNRC Conceptual Fly-Through from EastValleyWaterDistrict on Vimeo.