The High Desert Report » July 7, 2011

Daily Archives: July 7, 2011

Air Quality General

Air District Offers Emission-Reduction Grants Up to $1,000,000 Available in the High Desert

Published by:

By Eldon Heaston
Executive Director, MDAQMD

The Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District is now accepting proposals for projects that reduce smog forming emissions from motor vehicles and help improve air quality in the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County and in Riverside County’s Palo Verde Valley.

Approximately $1,000,000 in grant monies is available to public or private entities for projects that reduce emissions from mobile sources, which account for more that 60% of air pollutant emissions gauged in the High Desert. Eligible projects include those that reduce vehicle trips or miles traveled, or encourage the use of alternative travel modes, such as public transit. Projects related to alternative fuel vehicles, parking management, telecommuting, and public education programs that do not duplicate the MDAQMD’s mobile source education efforts are additional examples of projects which may be eligible for funding. The incremental cost of purchasing or leasing clean fuel/ electric vehicles or repowering existing vehicles to operate on alternative fuel may also be eligible for funding in an amount not to exceed 25% of the total project cost.

The AB2766 grant program is funded through vehicle registration fees, which the local air agency uses to support programs that reduce air pollution from motor vehicles, as required by law. Past projects funded through the program include a Park and Ride lot in the City of Hesperia, LNG/CNG fueling station in the City of Barstow and two haul truck repowers for Hi Grade Materials of Hesperia.

Proposals will be competitively evaluated, and accepted through June 1, 2011 at 5:00PM. For more information on the competitive grant process, or to obtain a copy of the Call for projects, please call (760) 245-1661, ext. 1885, or visit the district’s website at www.mdaqmd.ca.gov

If you would like to receive the full edition of the Bradco High Desert Report, our quarterly newsletter, please click on the link: http://www.thebradcocompanies.com/register

General Water

Preparing for the Next Drought and Beyond

Published by:

By Michael Stevens
Community Liaison Officer

There’s a saying that goes: “No one plans to fail, but many fail to plan.” This adage, however, cannot apply to Mojave Water Agency (MWA) and most water agencies in the High Desert as we work to provide water for a region totaling 437,357 people-and expected to increase 60% by 2035 to 706,388.

The adage can’t apply because in 1983, the State of California adopted the Urban Water Management Planning Act, which requires water agencies to prepare an Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) every five years when a water agency’s service area includes at least 3,000 connections or water deliveries are equal to or greater than 3,000 acre-feet per year.

Despite better-than-average precipitation levels this past winter and this spring-and the recent cancellation of a three-year statewide drought-the state’s water resources are still subject to increasing demand for a finite supply. Urban Water Management Plans are developed and implemented at the local level in order to ensure effective conservation, water use efficiency and long-term supply reliability. And the Plans work!

For Mojave Water Agency its Plan works because of a proven track record of planning, preparing, and positioning. The Urban Water Management Planning Act requires water agencies to assess growth trends and project water demands a minimum of 20 years in the future. But adoption of the UWMP is one step that helps our region meet future water demands.

Equally critical is executing the Plan and making decisions at the right time, and taking advantage of opportunities that sometimes aren’t always available. One such decision by MWA occured in 1997. Recognizing the explosive growth in the High Desert region, the MWA board made a decision in an intense bidding climate to purchase additional water rights to meet future local water demands.

Again in 2009 the board purchased additional water rights with an “eye on the future” didn’t take too long to arrive because in 2010 the Agency was able to cash in and not just have “access” to water rights but was able to “purchase water” as a result of the additional water rights.

What this means is that MWA’s water deliveries in 2010 through the State Water Project marked the second year in a row the Agency took delivery of its full amount of water available (41,400 acre-feet) but without the acquisition of the additional water rights the total would only have been 37,900! The water delivered was enough to meet all of MWA’s delivery obligations-with 17,600 acre-feet going to underground storage for future use. MWA has planned, prepared, and positioned itself for several years and will continue with the goal of “leaving no water behind.”

Another Key decision enabling the Agency to meet water demands well beyond 20-years was the investment in aggressive water conservation starting in February 2008. The $3,146,605 million dollar invested in the conservation program thus far has seen 3.6 million square footage of turf removed, 1,200 toilets replaced with high efficiency toilets, and 1,989 high efficiency clothes washer rebates issued-resulting in a savings of 876 acre-feet of water. One acre-foot (approximately 326,000 gallons) is enough water to serve a family of four for a year.

The decisions to purchase additional water rights and invest in conservation enabled the Agency’s UWMP to exceed the state’s minimum of 25-years with the ability to plan for beyond.

The public will have several opportunities to provide input about the UWMP during a 30-day public comment period between April 5-May 5 while the draft is available for public review. To view the report you can visit the MWA website: (www.mojavewater.org) or to see a hard copy, visit either local library branch or MWA’s front counter. In addition, the MWA Board of Directors will hold a workshop on April 14th and a public hearing on May 5th before adopting the plan on June 9th.

For more information about Mojave Water Agency, visit our website: www.mojavewater.orgor Facebook page: http:facebook.com/mojavewater, or to speak to someone call: 1-800-254-4242.

If you would like to receive the full edition of the Bradco High Desert Report, our quarterly newsletter, please click on the link: http://www.thebradcocompanies.com/register

General Water

Taking the Waste Out of Wastewater

Published by:

By Ryan Orr
Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority

Many High Desert residents don’t realize that the water they’re using to irrigate their gardens and lawns, and that municipalities use to irrigate parks, schools and golf courses, is perfectly safe for drinking.

At the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority, we believe this precious resource should be conserved for just drinking and other uses that will sustain our water resources. The agency is introducing two new facilities, that when built out, will provide more than four million gallons of treated, reclaimed water to irrigate nearby parks and golf courses.

This much-needed benefit will not only help conserve water in our drought-ridden region but also create extra capacity in VVWRA’s currently crowded sewer pipe system, allowing for continued responsible growth and making way for new businesses to come to the Victor Valley.

“The Agency has been working on these projects for close to 20 years, and we’re very close to getting them built,” said Logan Olds, General Manager of VVWRA. “This will be an invaluable resource for our growing communities.”

Currently less than one half percent of our basin’s water demand is met by reclaimed water – being used at Westwinds golf course in Victorville. These facilities will serve to sharply increase that percentage and finally put us on an even playing field with other communities in the Inland Empire that have been utilizing this resource for years.

Building these facilities is an important part in both handling wastewater flow and sustaining local water supplies to build a sustainable path for the future of the Victor Valley.

Recycled water equals greener parks at lower costs; VVWRA’s Recycled Water Program needs the Valley’s support.

If you would like to receive the full edition of the Bradco High Desert Report, our quarterly newsletter, please click on the link: http://www.thebradcocompanies.com/register