Category Archives: Water

General Water

Cadiz Water Project: Conservation and Sustainable Management of Desert Groundwater

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By Courtney Degener, Vice President, Communications & Investor Relations

A Part of the Cadiz Team for over 12 years.

Over the last two decades, California has grappled with systemic challenges to its traditional water supplies. Climat­ic extremes and more regular dry years are the new normal. The availability of reliable water to meet all of the state’s demands is a persistent public policy is­sue. We need water for our people, our environment and to sustain our way of life. In recognition of this need, in 2009 Cadiz Inc. set the objective of creating, designing, permitting and constructing an environmentally benign water proj­ect, and today we are nearing comple­tion of these objectives.

Cadiz Inc. is the largest private land­owner in the eastern Mojave Desert, where billions of gallons of water evaporate every year from the highly-saline Bristol and Cadiz dry lakes near the town of Amboy. The playas are the down-gradient end of a massive ground­water basin in a watershed the size of Rhode Island. To stop this loss, we’ve proposed to better manage the basin to provide a reliable supply and new aqui­fer storage capacity. By capturing and conserving water before it evaporates, we can create a new, sustainable annual supply for nearly 400,000 Californians.

Under our plan, conserved project water would be delivered to the Metropolitan Water District’s Colorado River Aque­duct for distribution throughout South­ern California via a pipeline that would be built in an existing railroad right-of-way. We selected this route, which is longer and costlier than a more direct pipeline route would be, because it will avoid impacts to desert lands. Construc­tion of the pipeline, wellfield and related infrastructure will create thousands of jobs for local residents and veterans, generate nearly $1 billion in economic activity, augment Southern California’s water supply reliability and take pres­sure off existing imported supplies.

Phase 2 of the project, its storage com­ponent, is particularly relevant in this very wet year. It would enable storage of imported excess flows at Cadiz, uti­lizing the aquifer’s estimated 1 million acre-feet of storage capacity. Southern California water providers could move surplus wet-year water from either the Colorado River Aqueduct or the State Water Project via an abandoned natu­ral gas pipeline from Barstow to Cadiz, which we have purchased, and store it at Cadiz until the inevitable subsequent dry years. A “programmatic” environmen­tal review of Phase 2 was completed in 2012, meaning a preliminary evaluation of the concept, and a “project” level re­view must still be completed once Phase 1 gets underway.

Although the project’s concept may sound unique, the sustainable use of groundwater in California’s managed basins and the movement of water be­tween basins is not. Californians have a history of not living where the water is, and all seven Southern California counties rely on imports from the State Water Project, the Colorado River and neighboring basins to sustain their pop­ulations. Groundwater storage is also a preferred method of capturing excess flows in wet years and is becoming more common in California and the West.

To ensure that the project is a resource that helps meet Southern California’s water management needs, the project incorporates stringent groundwater management principles in its approved Groundwater Management Plan. The County of San Bernardino, which was viewed as the superior protector of desert groundwater resources during the recent controversy over the Soda Mountain solar generating station, will enforce the plan. Data on groundwater levels will be compiled, posted for the public, and reviewed by an independent committee appointed by the county. If water levels fall below a county-desig­nated floor, or if there’s evidence of un­anticipated impacts on the desert envi­ronment, the county can adjust or even stop operations.

This Groundwater Management Plan grew out of recommendations by some of the nation’s leading hydrologists and scientists as they peer-reviewed the Cadiz EIR’s hydrological study. The study used the US Geological Survey’s newest and best computer model for desert hydrology in the Southwestern U.S., created in 2006, to estimate the aquifer system’s size (over 20 million acre-feet, about the size of Lake Mead) and how much water flows into it annu­ally (its recharge rate, found to be about 32,000 acre-feet a year). To verify the computer model’s calculation of the system’s recharge rate, we asked scien­tists from the Desert Research Institute to measure evaporation from the Bristol and Cadiz dry lakes, where all the wa­ter in the aquifer ends up, completing the water cycle. The amount of water going in should equal the amount of water evaporating out, and that is what the study verified – the volumes are the same.

The project’s EIR and Groundwater Management Plan withstood court chal­lenges over four years and emerged with no changes or additional studies ordered. With these court challenges behind us, we are working to implement the project and initiate Phase II’s water storage component so we can deliver on our promises of sustainable water sup­ply and economic benefits. Developing sustainable projects in California takes time, but when done right they can be useful for all in dry and wet years alike.

For more information, please visit:

www.CadizWaterProject.com.

General Water

Upper Narrows Emergency Pipeline Project was Unlike Any Other

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VVWRA

By Logan Olds General Manager, Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority

It’s safe to say that the Upper Narrows Emergency Pipeline project was unlike any other for the Vic­tor Valley Wastewa­ter Reclamation Authority.

When a series of powerful storms in late 2010 broke open a large sewer line, spilling 42 million gallons of sewage into the Mojave River, the stage was set for one of the largest and most important recent FEMA projects in California.

Over the next five years, planners, engineers and construction teams navigated complex technical and en­vironmental obstacles – first in lay­ing nearly 5,000 feet of temporary pipe, then designing and building a permanent solution that included tunneling under the streets of Old Town Victorville and under 270 feet of rock through an earthquake fault.

To serve Apple Valley, two 16-inch pipes were installed using direction­al drilling 40 feet below the Mojave River and under one of the busiest railroad lines in the nation.

The $41 million project was de­signed to keep the new pipe out of the river and away from other envi­ronmentally sensitive areas, but the challenges grew with each passing month. Many of these were impos­sible to anticipate – unusual geologi­cal formations, endangered speciesand archeological remains – but we had to persevere. The immediate and long-term public safety and well-being of the water of our region de­pended on it.

Now it seems we’re being made an example of – in the wrong way.

In recent weeks, stories have sur­faced questioning the project’s costs and accounting. These were based on a draft audit from the Office of Inspector General (OIG), claiming that VVWRA did not properly ac­count for and expend $31.7 million in FEMA grant funds.

To say that we were caught off guard by the report would be a massive un­derstatement. Only six months ear­lier, we were told that the audit was 95% complete and that our expenses and accounting were “generally ac­ceptable.”

While we appreciate the federal gov­ernment’s checks and balances, this particular audit trail leaves us baffled – because of what we were led to be­lieve and the nature of the pipeline project itself.

Even in the best of circumstances – never mind something as complex as Upper Narrows – it is not unusual for a major engineering project to come in more expensive than origi­nally thought because of unforeseen challenges. Tunneling projects often experience cost overruns in excess of 30%. With Upper Narrows the additional costs were less than half that – approximately 15%, or only 5% above the 10% contingency built into the project. It’s the only time, in fact, that a project we’ve managed has exceeded the standard 10% con­tingency, which speaks to both our excellent record of controlling costs and the unusual – and urgent – na­ture of the Upper Narrows project.

The extent of the damage – and the work required to fix it – was some­thing we could not have anticipated. We performed triage first and then maneuvered through unchartered territory to ensure the safety of the community we serve and the protec­tion of our groundwater and envi­ronment. Our teams used every type of boring technology in existence, outside of using explosives, includ­ing the use of a massive 80-inch bor­ing machine, smaller micro tunnel­ing machines, horizontal directional drilling, pipe ramming and open cut construction. In addition, 10 concrete manholes ranging from 48-96 inches in diameter were installed.

These were no small tasks – com­plicated even more by challenges beyond our control, such as the need to ensure that wetlands, critical habi­tat and endangered species such as the Least Bell’s Vireo would not be disrupted. The project required close collaboration with the Native Amer­ican community to ensure that any artifacts or remains were handled with great care with the railroads to ensure that the work being done beneath crossings was properly en­gineered, and that all appropriate special permits were secured. Even with the invaluable support of these groups and other stakeholders such as the Kemper-Campbell Ranch, The Lewis Center and the City of Victor­ville, the project was as daunting as any we’d ever encountered.

Along the way we went to great lengths to ensure that every “i” was dotted and every “t” crossed when it came to spending and account­ing – and felt confident, based on our communications with auditors last March, that we had taken all ap­propriate steps. Recently, the Daily Press published a report referencing a transcript of that phone call – sug­gesting that any lingering questions the auditors might have had were small in nature.

We provided the auditors detailed answers to those questions and had no reason to believe that anything was wrong.

We still don’t, which is why we find ourselves scratching our heads over the draft audit we received six months later.

Whatever the internal dynamics are within OIG and FEMA, we stand ready to defend how this critically important project was managed and accounted for.

General Water

Cadiz Inc Continues Work to Provide California Much-Needed New Water

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By Courtney Degener, Vice President, Communications & Investor Relations A part of the Cadiz team for over 12 years

The Mojave Desert’s Cadiz Valley in eastern San Bernardino County, Cali­fornia, is a hot, dry place. The sandy soil supports only sparse, low brush well adapted to the hot dry climate where summer temperatures reach up to 120 degrees. It’s just about the last place you’d go looking for water.

But in the 1980s, our Company found­ers did just that. Guided by early NASA satellite imagery, they postulated that the unique geology of the Cadiz Val­ley, which is about the size of Rhode Island, could indicate that groundwater had been collecting under the soil for millennia. We purchased land, drilled exploratory wells and, indeed, found plentiful, high-quality groundwater.

Later modeling and field work would show the Cadiz aquifer system holds as much as 34 million acre-feet of wa­ter – more than 11 trillion gallons and an amount equal in volume to Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir. Our wells have been prolific, or as one drill­ing contractor said during field work in 2010, “based on 43 years of experience – I’ve been involved with hundreds, possibly thousands, of drilling projects – and without a doubt (Cadiz well) TW1 was the most productive production well I’ve ever been involved with.”

Over time we continued our land acqui­sition and began to farm, relying upon this groundwater for irrigation. Today we are the largest private landowner in San Bernardino County, with 45,000 acres and a sustainable farming operation of aquifer-watered lemon orchards and vineyards that provide a lush green spot in the sparse Mojave landscape.

Creating an Environmentally Benign Water Project

In the 1990s as California’s population grew and the State’s water supplies in­creasingly came under pressure, we also started considering the potential to make our property available for a water supply and groundwater storage project. Givenour proximity to the Colorado River Aqueduct, which carries water from the river to 19 million people from Ventura County to San Diego County, both the supply and storage concepts proved feasible. The plan has evolved with the times. Once envisioned as a groundwa­ter storage-focused project in partner­ship with the Metropolitan Water Dis­trict of Southern California, today the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Re­covery and Storage Project is smaller in scale and scope than earlier envisioned, but remained focused on a pledge to do no harm to the environment.

The project, which will be implemented in two phases, will actively manage the groundwater basin underlying our prop­erty to create a new reliable water sup­ply for Southern California, as well as a new opportunity for groundwater stor­age. The first phase will capture approx­imately 50,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year–enough for 400,000 people –from a wellfield on the Cadiz property and deliver that water via a pipeline to the Colorado River Aqueduct and then to local communities throughout South­ern California. Over the 50 year life of the project, only 3-6% of water in stor­age would be withdrawn and this water would be replenished over time. Ac­cording to Anthony Brown, M.Sc. En­gineering & Hydrology, who conducted an independent peer review of the proj­ect’s science, “given the low amount of proposed pumping relative to the significant size of the basin, the Cadiz project can be intelligently managed to provide a new beneficial use without any harm.”

“Conservation” is a critical part of the project’s name and objectives because all of the water in the Cadiz aquifer presently flows to desert dry lake pla­yas, where it turns ten times saltier than the ocean and evaporates. Without the project, over 10 trillion gallons of water are lost every year. The project aims to manage these outflows to the dry lakes and create integrity in the aquifer system so that in a second phase we can utilize its immense storage capacity to hold up to one million acre-feet of imported wet-year water from the Colorado River or State Water Project until needed in subsequent dry years.

When designing the project, protecting the environment was a top priority, and we worked with our project partners, San Bernardino County and best-in-class ex­perts, to ensure the project would do no harm. We plan to build our pipeline in a disturbed railroad right-of-way, rather than crossing undisturbed federal land to ensure no species are impacted. We have also committed to an 80-foot hard floor on groundwater withdrawals for the avoidance of doubt about water re­source impacts. The project includes an extensive, prescient groundwater man­agement plan regulated by the county to enforce our commitments.

Public Review & Approval

In July 2012 the project received ap­proval under California’s rigorous en­vironmental laws–generally regarded as the most protective in the nation. The Environmental Impact Report was prepared and certified, after extensive public review, by Santa Margarita Wa­ter District (SMWD). Nine water agen­cies from across the region, including SMWD, have signed up to purchase the water made available by the project. San Bernardino County, which oversees groundwater at the project area, served as a Responsible Agency in the project and separately approved the project and the management plan in October 2012.

As occurs so frequently with large projects in California, litigation fol­lowed. Cadiz, SMWD and San Ber­nardino jointly defended challenges to the project’s approvals. Some lawsuits were dropped early on and several went to trial. In 2014 all of the project’s ap­provals and environmental documents were upheld without any changes. As expected, opponents appealed these rul­ings and the matters are now before the California Court of Appeals. We remain confident in the thorough environmen­tal review conducted in accordance with California’s tough environmental laws and are optimistic the Appeals Court will uphold the 2014 trial court deci­sions.

A Big Boost for the Local Economy

As it has waded through the CEQA pro­cess and now CEQA litigation, the need for the project has not diminished and the state’s unpredictable hydrological cycles have only made it clearer that a groundwater supply and storage proj­ect in Southern California would be a benefit to the entire system. Southern California economic consulting firm Stratecon Inc. recently valued the water supply, storage, and water quality ben­efits attributable to the project at $6.1 billion. These benefits would not only be realized by Project subscribers, but experienced by all water users throughout the entire region, which has faced significant water rate increases over the last 10 years.

In addition to tremendous water supply benefits, the project is also expected to create needed jobs and local investment. The $250 million project, which we will privately finance, will create and sup­port over 1,500 jobs per year of con­struction and generate nearly a billion dollars in economic activity. Under a pledge we made to the county, 80% of the capital investment will be dedicated to San Bernardino County-based busi­nesses and 50% of the jobs to county-based workers, including 10% to local veterans.

Next steps…

To reach construction and implementa­tion, we must still complete three pri­mary tasks: (1) resolve the outstanding appeals of the CEQA permits; (2) re­solve a dispute with the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over ac­cess to the railroad right-of-way for our conveyance pipeline; and, (3) complete final contracts for the water. We expect the appeals will be decided this summer and the contracts are expected to follow. Thanks to the support of a broad bi-par­tisan delegation of California Congres­sional members, we are in dialogue with the BLM about how we can resolve our dispute and reach a final path forward for the pipeline.

While we continue to believe that the water project would be the highest and best use of our properties and resources, we also recognize that water in Califor­nia is a tough business and can take a long time. Therefore, we’ve also recent­ly announced plans to expand farming operations in Cadiz so we can put our most valuable asset to work while we continue to pursue the water project.

The initial expansion will expand farm­ing on 2,100 acres and ultimately could reach 9,600 acres, which would utilize an amount of water comparable to our Water Project permits. Our agricultural partners will install water and energy infrastructure that later will be used by the project once final approvals are received. The well-field infrastructure and related improvements required for agriculture are substantially similar to water project infrastructure, so they can be fully integrated into the project once it is permitted.

As a long-time desert business, whether pursuing agriculture or water supply development at the property, we also intend to maintain a variety of legacy commitments in Cadiz, including a tour­ist-based steam train, cultural center, kit fox research, and the largest desert tor­toise land mitigation bank in California. We are more than the water project, and as our CEO, Scott Slater, reminds our team regularly, we will always do proj­ects that our kids can be proud of.

General Water

MWA Offers Assistance to Small Water Providers

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By Yvonne Hester, Community Liaison Officer

As California continues to experience year five of a statewide drought, hopes of a saving El Niño continue to elude the Golden State. Here in the High Des­ert, periods of drought are part of the na­tive climate, requiring the Mojave Wa­ter Agency to continually monitor and invest in plans and programs to ensure water for today and tomorrow. Among the Agency’s newest programs is the Small Systems Assistance Program (SSAP) that has been named as a finalist for an award of excellence from the As­sociation of California Water Agencies.

During the past two decades, MWA in­vested heavily in large capital projects such as pipelines and recharge facilities, but today the focus is on optimization of resources, thanks to community in­put during the 2014 Integrated Regional Water Management Plan. Increased par­ticipation in the plan’s process resulted in the committee ranking assistance for disadvantaged communities as a top pri­ority.

Unlike the larger water providers, re­sources are scarce for the small provid­ers. The new program was developed to assist disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged small water systems that lack staff, expertise, and funding to address both water quality and reliability. While the MWA region is served by 10 large water purveyors, there are also some 40 smaller systems that provide water to homes and businesses.

Residents living in disadvantaged com­munities deserve quality water, but of­ten maintaining infrastructure is costly. Many of the small systems have pipe­lines, pumps, and storage reservoirs that are 30-50 years old, resulting in a variety of water-quality issues. Many of the small water systems are challenged with naturally occurring and manmade water quality issues, including arsenic, fluoride, and Chromimum-6.

In an effort to address these concerns, a committee formed by the IRWM Plan Project team was formed, and the MWA Board of Directors approved an initial $200,000.00 program budget for a con­tract with the California Rural Water Association to provide small water sys­tems expertise. Under the MWA Small Water Systems Assistance Program, a local expert was made available to dis­cuss containment solutions including consolidation of two or more systems, blending water, or well head treatment.

As a result of the MWA program, a number of grants for small systems were submitted, and Gordon Acres Mutual Water Company in Lucerne Valley re­ceived a grant of $468,000.00 from the State Water Resources Control Board. These funds will help develop a water system plan to address insufficient de­livery, water outages, and water quality violations.

Other small water systems in the re­gion also have received assistance from the program. All requesting water systems have received on-site assistance for technical, managerial and financial challenges, as well as need assessments, leak detection audits, conservation plan assistance, and rate studies. MWA also has provided 10 free workshops and has made available wastewater expert help.

For more information on this pro­gram, contact Mojave Water Agency at 760.946.7000.

2016 High Desert Water Summit to Feature State and Local Experts

Winner of Student Essay Contest Also Featured

“Predicting Our Future by Our Own De­sign” was the theme of the 2016 High Desert Water Summit held April 13 at the Barstow Community College Per­forming Arts Center. Each speaker fo­cused on key issues and resources that serve to shape the region’s water fu­ture. Speakers included Dr. Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, based in Los Angeles. He provided an economic and population profile of the region. Ellen Hanak, Senior Fellow and Director of the Public Policy Institute Water Policy Center in San Francisco, provided a statewide overview of water management issues, as well as climate challenges. Addition­ally, Lance Eckhart, MWA Director of Basin Management and Water Resourc­es, presented water supply and demand projections included in the current up­date of the Regional Urban Water Man­agement Plan.

Also Enrique Arcilla, the 15-year-old essay contest winner, a sophomore at the Academy for Academic Excellence in Apple Valley, presented his essay titled “The Path to Sustainability” at the April 13 event. As the winner, Arcilla received a $5,000 scholarship.

The Water Summit ran from 7:15 to 11:30 a.m. on April 13 at the Barstow Community College Preforming Arts Center. The campus is located at 2700 Barstow Road.

The cost for the event was just $10 and included a full breakfast buffet.

General Water

Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority’s Apple Valley and Hesperia Subregional Reclamation Plants Scheduled for Completion in Early 2017

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Victor Valley Wastewater Reclama­tion Authority is so much more than a wastewater treatment plant. VVWRA is more like a resource recovery facil­ity that protects public health by taking the incoming waste and transforming it into something useful. With the help of nearly $200 million in capital proj­ects, funded in part by more than $71 million in grants, along with forward thinking planning and management, VVWRA creates millions of gallons per day of clean recycled water, gener­ates sustainable green energy and pro­duces high nutrient bio-solids that are used for land application. But it wasn’t always like this. In the last ten years, VVWRA has gone from a facility that was essentially dead and facing mul­tiple water quality violations, to a plant that is recognized as a leader in both the renewable energy and wastewater industries.

When Logan Olds took over as General Manager of VVWRA in 2006, he had no idea of the headaches he inherited. But it soon became apparent the plant was not operating properly and the vi­olations were piling up. And to make matters worse, VVWRA was broke. A wastewater plant is essentially a large living organism that if not operating properly can get sick and die. With that grim picture, VVWRA was in its death throes, but tough decisions made by innovative managers helped turn this once struggling utility around. To­day, VVWRA has 46 employees and stands on the verge of revolutionizing an evolving industry.

Grants have played a big part in VVWRA’s many capital projects. Thanks to more than $71 million dol­lars in grants, VVWRA has launched an industry leading waste to energy program, made massive repairs to the sewer interceptor through the Upper Mojave Narrows and started construc­tion on two water recycling facilities VVWRA is the Victor Valley’s single largest piece of public infrastructure. The main plant in Victorville is more than 400 acres, with 42 miles of sewer line interceptors throughout the val­ley. VVWRA serves the businesses and residents in Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Spring Valley Lake and Oro Grande. With construction of subregional water reclamation plants in Apple Valley and Hesperia, VVWRA is switching from a regional treatment model to a distributed treatment model. Currently, all wastewater is treated at the main VVWRA plant in Victorville. The new subregionals will allow for treatment of wastewater closer to the source, while all solids will continue to the main plant to produce energy. The benefits are two fold; first, it ex­pands VVWRA’s capacity in the in­terceptors, which will help delay the need for extremely expensive upgrades at the Victorville plant; secondly, the subregionals will supply a new source of reliable recycled water within those communities. When completed in early 2017, each of these facilities will pro­vide up to one million gallons of re­cycled water per day for above-ground irrigation in Apple Valley and Hespe­ria. The recycled water in Apple Valley will be piped to the Apple Valley Golf Course where it will be used to water the grounds. Similarly, the recycled water in Hesperia will be used at the Hesperia Golf Course and to irrigate the grounds at Civic Plaza. The combined planning and construction cost for the subregionals is estimated at $80 million dollars. That is a lot of money. However, VVWRA and its member agencies have managed to obtain $21 million dollars in grants, which essentially reduces the overall cost by 26 percent. That saves local communities and residents money. And from an economic standpoint, the subregionals will also provide VVWRA with more interceptor capacity, which means the Victor Valley can accom­modate growth throughout the area.

VVWRA has become known industry-wide for its groundbreaking Waste to Energy program, a program where nat­urally occurring methane, also known as biogas, is created at the plant and used to generate electricity. The pro­gram has been made possible by a com­bination of grants, Southern California Edison incentive rebates, and a unique public/private partnership that resulted in no additional cost to rate payers. VVWRA teamed with Anaergia Inc. to build the Omnivore system. Anaergia’s proprietary recuperative thickener was connected to a retrofitted, formerly decommissioned anaerobic digester. The result has been a dramatic increase in the production of bio-gas. VVWRA is collecting the bio-gas produced by Om­nivore, as well as the other digesters on the site, and is using it to fuel a pair of 800 kwh 2G generators. This elimi­nates the need for expensive natural gas that was previously used to power equipment. The 2G generators are ca­pable of producing enough electricity to meet all VVWRA power needs, es­sentially making the plant carbon and energy neutral. In addition, VVWRA has a long term power agreement with Anaergia, locking in that power at a much lower rate than traditional electri­cal service. Plans are also in the works for installation of a microgrid and bat­tery system that would allow VVWRA to store and supply itself with a more reliable stream of green energy. This project is being paid for entirely by a state grant from the California Energy Commission. VVWRA foresees a time in the future that they could even ex­port power to the grid. While there are still a few legislative and technical ob­stacles to make that happen, VVWRA management believes this is a prom­ising source of green power that could have a huge impact on power genera­tion both here in the US and globally.

One of the biggest challenges VVWRA has faced over the last ten years came in December of 2010 when a series of heavy storms severely damaged the main sewer line in the Upper Mojave Narrows. The incident was declared a Federal emergency and a temporary emergency bypass line was installed in just 9 days. Since that time, VVWRA has been working with engineers and construction teams to build a permanent sewer line that avoids environmentally sensitive areas in the Upper Narrows. This project has proven to be costly and dangerous. After a number of unforeseen setbacks and design changes, the project is nearly completed. It’s estimated it will cost $41 million dollars by the time it is completed in mid-2016. However, the vast majority of that ex­pense is being picked up by the Fed­eral Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with just a small percentage being the responsibility of VVWRA’s member agencies and ratepayers.

VVWRA has also made a number of improvements to its regional plant in recent years, including installation of a state of the art Aqua Diamond fil­tering system and an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection building. UV disinfection is now the final step for the recycled water before it is released into the Mo­jave River. UV disinfection uses powerful lights to essentially disinfect any remaining organisms, making it impos­sible for them to reproduce. The UV system has allowed VVWRA to stop using chemicals like chlorine to disin­fect the recycled water.

The many projects that VVWRA has embarked on in recent years have been focused on two issues: to protect public health and the environment. The better VVWRA is able to do that, whether through technological improvements or repairs and upgrades, the better it is able to serve and protect our commu­nity. Secondly, VVWRA has made a conscious effort to seek the best solu­tions for problems now and anticipate issues related to growth in the future. They have done that with the goal of keeping costs down as much as possi­ble. VVWRA has aggressively sought out grants, alternative funding, rebates and public\private partnerships to pro­vide the Victor Valley with the best possible service at the most reason­able price. Wastewater is something that most people don’t think about, but VVWRA takes its job very seriously and is dedicated to keeping the public’s trust.

General Water

Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Stormwater Program

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By Patty Z. Kouyoumdjian, Executive Officer

The Lahontan Regional Water Qual­ity Control Board, known as the La­hontan Water Board, is a state agency whose mission is to protect surface and groundwater uses for current and future benefit of all Californians. The board has seven members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. Staff offices are located in South Lake Tahoe and Victorville.

Implementing a number of federal and state regulatory programs, board decisions directly or indirectly affect most all residents within the Lahon­tan Region. The Lahontan Region encompasses the Great Basin portion of California. It extends from Ore­gon south to the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains and eastward from the crest of the Sierra Nevadas to Nevada. Within San Bernardino County, numerous board actions are taken to protect and improve the state’s waters. This article’s focus is the Stormwater Program.

Stormwater Program Requirements

Statewide general orders (e.g. permits) exist for three main stormwater pro­gram categories; industrial, construc­tion, and municipal. Permit links are on the State Water Resources Control Board website at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/pro­grams/stormwater/. Coverage under all permits is obtained through the SMARTS database, which can be ac­cessed at that website.

Construction Activities

Construction permit coverage is re­quired for any land disturbance great­er than one acre. Note that disturbed area, not project size, is the governing factor. Additionally, project compo­nents forming a larger plan of devel­opment must be considered together. Minimizing sediment transport im­pacts is the primary permit objec­tive. For each project a site-specific Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, or SWPPP, must be prepared by a Qualified Stormwater Develop­er. It must identify appropriate Best Management Practices, or BMPs, that will be installed and maintained by a Qualified Stormwater Developer for both the construction and post-construction periods.

Porous concrete makes up part of a new parking lot in Victorville at Valley Hi Toyota (darker pavement)

Porous concrete makes up part of a new parking lot in Victorville at Valley Hi Toyota (darker pavement)

The water board’s key objective is en­suring that effective post-construction BMPs are in place at the time permit termination is granted. The permit requires that the post-construction runoff is equal to or less than pre-construction runoff and that runoff does not cause downstream effects, including erosion or modification of drainage patterns, swales or stream channels. A site-specific hydrology calculation must be done to verifythat the post-construction BMPs will be effective at meeting this requirement. While there are a wide range of BMPs that may be proposed, the Lahontan Water Board promotes BMPs appropriate to the arid high desert climate, using Low Impact Develop­ment, or LID, principles discussed below. Effective post-construction BMPs must be proposed in the proj­ect design. Numerous termination requests have been declined by the water board where post-construction BMPs were not in place. To speed the termination process, proponents should include photographs show­ing the periphery of the construc­tion site, especially runoff locations. Photographs of the interior drainage features, unless integral to post-construction BMPs such as prefabricated infiltration chambers, are less impor­tant.

Industrial Activities

Industrial permit coverage is required based on industry type or Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes. For manufacturing facilities cover­age is required for SIC codes 20XX through 39XX and 4221 through 4225. Permitted facilities must prepare and implement a SWPPP that identifies appropriate BMPs. The permit re­quires stormwater runoff sampling from Qualifying Storm Events. Staff has inspected many industries in the Victor Valley that have ineffective BMPs or conduct operations in or near ephemeral waterways, causing adverse effects to waters. Identifying and requesting modified practices and improved stormwater management will be the focus of future inspec­tions. The permit includes two new options for enrollees. A No Exposure Certification may be obtained if all industrial materials and activities areprotected by a storm-resistant shelter. A Notice of Non-Applicability signed by a registered professional engineer may be submitted if a facility is engi­neered to contain the maximum his­toric precipitation event or is located where there is no hydrologic connec­tion to waters of the United States.

Erosion in epheremal wash caused by concentrated urban run-off, Hesperia

Erosion in epheremal wash caused by concentrated urban run-off, Hesperia

Municipal Activities

Municipal permit coverage is re­quired for the Town of Apple Valley; Cities of Barstow, Hesperia, and Vic­torville, and portions of the County of San Bernardino. In addition to con­trolling pollutants in stormwater run­off from municipal activities (shops, yards, streets, etc.), municipalities must adopt ordinances providing le­gal authority to control pollutants (in­cluding sediment) into and from the municipal storm system. Other program areas include public outreach and education, illicit discharge identi­fication and elimination, construction site controls, and post-construction BMP requirements. The permit re­quires new projects to capture stormwater from the 85 percentile 24-hour precipitation event. Effective main­tenance is the key to ensure post-con­struction BMPs continue to protect water quality.

Low Impact Development, Stream and Wetland Impacts

In the earliest project design phase, applicants should assess and evalu­ate how site con­ditions such as soils, vegetation, and flow paths should be consid­ered in the placement of buildings and impervious surfaces to re­duce adverse im­pacts to surface flow paths, water quality and wild­life habitat. Envi­ronmental docu­ments should identify how the project incorpo­rates Low Impact Development, or LID, principles to protect water qual­ity. The High Desert has unique rain­fall and stormwater runoff patterns. LID practices should be cus­tomized for each individual site to preserve pre-develop­ment hydrology by limiting impervious surfaces (i.e, pav­ing), promoting stormwater infiltration, minimizing land disturbance, and incorporat­ing structural BMPs such as pervious pavement, infiltra­tion galleries, energy dissipa­tion, etc. Water board staff have observed many older projects have radically alteredthe ephemeral wash downstream en­vironment by increasing runoff ve­locities and volumes, causing exces­sive sediment erosion and sediment deposition in lower-lying areas, bury­ing wildlife and riparian habitat. In­corporating LID principles in future new and redevelopment projects will protect and improve our unique des­ert environment and water quality for our future.

Proposition 1 Grant Funding Resources

A new opportunity to obtain storm­water project funding is available through Proposition 1 grants. This requires applications to reference an adopted Stormwater Resources Man­agement Plan that identifies projects on a watershed basis. That plan may become a component of the Mojave Water Agency’s Integrated Regional Water Management Plan and can be used to support grant requests. The water board encourages local munici­palities to cooperate and cost share in preparing this plan.

General Water

Science: a Key to Water Management

Published by:

By Mojave Water Agency

California’s ongoing drought is just one factor in a complex equation of a changing water environment. With new state groundwater regulations, as well as stricter conservation measures, developing innovative and cost-effective solutions will require more than funding. It will require solid science data that will create greater consensus to develop long-term solutions.

The Mojave Water Agency’s second annual Water Summit turns the focus on “Science: The Key to Managing Water in a Changing World.” The event will be held April 8 from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Victorville. The event is sponsored by the Mojave Water Agency and the Victor Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The half-day program will feature the Governor’s top groundwater leader, Gordon Burns, Undersecretary for the California Environmental Protection Agency. Burns was appointed by Brown in December 2011 and has been heavily involved in water policy. He has been a leader on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act—the Governor’s recent landmark groundwater legislation that will provide a framework for local entities to more effectively manage groundwater resources.

The program also will feature presentations demonstrating the use of sound science in developing Urban Water Management Plans that provide critical data for future development. Additionally, the program will explore the role of science in accurately assessing local water supplies and developing new programs for future growth.

The program includes a full buffet breakfast and costs $10 per person in addition to a processing fee. For more information contact the Mojave Water Agency at 760.946.7000. To register for the Water Summit, click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/high-desert-water-summit-tickets-15715365080

The Mojave Water Agency manages the region’s water resources for the common benefit to assure stability in the sustained use for its citizens. It is one of 29 State Water Contractors entitled to receive State Water Project water when available. The Agency’s territory encompasses 4,900 squares miles with a population of 450,000.

General Water

MWA Groundwater Recharge Strategies and Other Programs Ensure Sustainability During Statewide Drought

Published by:

By Yvonne Hester
Community Liaison Officer
Mojave Water Agency

Headlines across the state showcase California’s water woes affecting farms, fish and wildlife, businesses, and residents. The Mojave Desert region, however, is weathering the drought thanks to Mojave Water Agency’s (MWA) capital investments and programs that replenish groundwater supplies, and encourage water conservation. These efforts have helped to “drought-proof” the region and will ensure sustainability without any imported water for the next three years or more.

Guiding MWA is a foundation of collaborative, integrated planning that embraces sound investment, science-based policies and programs, aggressive conservation efforts, and strategic basin recharge using surplus State Water Project water.

The first Integrated Regional Water Management plan, adopted in 2004, helped to more efficiently use the region’s geology, infrastructure, and collective financial resources. That plan, developed with stakeholder participation, yielded a prioritized list of projects and programs. Since that time, more than $170 million in local, state, and federal dollars have been invested in regional infrastructure and water supply projects.

Among the Agency’s recent accomplishments is the start-up of the Regional Recovery and Recharge Project, known as R3, which provides MWA greater ability to effectively manage the region’s groundwater resources. This project provides a renewable supply of high quality drinking water for the Victor Valley communities.

Previous to R3, the Agency’s groundwater projects were constructed to deliver untreated SWP water to strategically located spreading basins for recharge. The R3 project, however, uses water from the California Aqueduct in Hesperia that is transported to the Deep Creek recharge pipeline and then delivered to the Mojave River recharge zone in Hesperia and South Apple Valley.

Developing this project required the installation of 15 miles of pipeline, construction of numerous recovery wells, turnouts, and a new pump station and chlorination facility. Coordination was required among the project partners to ensure compatibility with existing systems, as well as environmental permitting and monitoring, and community impacts.

The $55.5 million project offers an initial capacity of 15,000 acre-feet of water per year, and at full build-out it will produce a total of 40,000 acre-feet annually. An acre-foot of water can supply a family of four for an entire year. The project was funded with $24.5 million in grant funding from a Department of Water Resources Proposition 50 program grant, $11 million from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and $20 million from MWA.

Construction began in 2010 and the first deliveries were made to the Victorville Water District in May 2013. To date, 4,500 acre-feet of water has been delivered, allowing the City of Victorville to reduce its supply from high-arsenic wells.

Following a tour of the project, Victorville Councilman Jim Kennedy said, “All the community will benefit from this project, and there will be a sustainable, predictable water supply well into the future.”

The City of Hesperia has recently submitted applications to MWA for deliveries in 2014, and with Phase 1 turnouts in place and operational, other communities in the greater Victor Valley area can now access R3 to help meet growing regional demands.

A public Open House and Dedication ceremony is set May 15th at 10 a.m. at 7620 Deep Creek Road in Apple Valley. This program will feature tours of the R3 recharge site, San Bernardino County’s High Desert Interpretive Center, and MWA’s new Central Operations Center. The public is invited. For more information call Gloria Golike at 760.946.7001.

General Water

High Desert Communities Focus on Water Projects and Program with an Eye to the Future

Published by:

By Yvonne Hester
Community Liaison Officer
Mojave Water Agency

A new spirit of cooperation among the High Desert communities, evidenced in recent joint marketing efforts, bodes well for planning water projects and programs for the Mojave Desert. An update of the 2004 Mojave Integrated Regional Water Management (MIR­WM) Plan is underway, and offers communities new opportunities to plan for water needs.

Leading this effort is the Regional Wa­ter Management Group comprised of the Mojave Water Agency (MWA), Victor Valley Wastewater Reclama­tion Authority, Mojave Desert Re­source Conservation District, Morongo Baseline Pipeline Commission, and the Technical Advisory Committee to MWA.

The planning process is a collaborative, stakeholder-driven effort to manage all aspects of water resources in the region and set a vision for the next 10-plus years of water management in the High Desert. During this process, partici­pants will discuss water supplies, wa­ter quality, flood management, water rights, water resources, and more.

As the agency charged with ensuring sustainable water supplies in the re­gion, Mojave Water Agency carries out the plans and programs recommended in the MIRWM Plan.The first integrat­ed plan yielded huge dividends for the High Desert region. Over the last 10 years $170 million in local, state, and federal dollars have been invested in lo­cal water infrastructure and water sup­plies. This included the construction of pipelines and groundwater recharge sites, investment in new water supplies, development of an aggressive water conservation program, and removal of invasive species in the Mojave River.

Among these projects is the recent completion of the Regional, Recharge and Recovery Project, called R3. This project delivers State Water Project water from the California Aqueduct in Hesperia to recharge sites along the Mojave River in Hesperia and south­ern Apple Valley. Production wells, owned by MWA, on either side of the Mojave River located immediately downstream of the recharge area will then recover and deliver the stored wa­ter through pipelines directly to retail water agencies. This $53 million proj­ect was constructed with more than $21 million in Proposition 50 IRWM funds. These funds, combined with federal grants and an MWA match, made the construction of this project possible.

The R3 Project is an excellent ex­ample of a conjunctive use–one that coordinates the use of surface water and groundwater supplies to maximize the yield of the overall water resource. Another key strategy used in the MWA water portfolio is conservation.

“Cash for Grass,” the Agency’s most successful water conservation pro­gram, also received $2 million in Prop­osition 84 funds as a result of the last integrated plan. The program offers customers a rebate of fifty cents per square foot for living and maintained turf that is removed and replaced with desert friendly landscaping. Residen­tial customers may receive a rebate up to $3,000 and commercial/industrial/institutional customers up to $10,000. To date, more than 3,200 projects have been completed with participants receiving some $2 million in direct rebates. In a service area of approxi­mately 450,000 residents, more than638 gallons per capita is being saved each year and this figure continues to grow.

Much progress has been made in the High Desert region, but statewide wa­ter issues affect availability. Success­ful integrated planning will yield new projects and programs for the region that will help MWA further reduce reli­ance on imported water from the Delta, and create a sustainable water supply.

While the Mojave Water Agency is responsible for managing the region’s water supply, successful plans reflect input from the entire region. During this planning process a number of op­portunities to participate are available. The next Technical Advisory Commit­tee meeting is June 6 at 9:30 a.m. at the Mojave Water Agency located at 13846 Conference Center Drive, Ap­ple Valley. Additionally, a number of public meetings are being held through the region. For more information on the plan or any of the public meetings, call 760.946.7000 or visit www.mywa­terplan.com

General Water

Mojave Water Agency is Ahead of the Curve in Reliable Fiscal and Program Policies

Published by:

By Tamara Alaniz
Mojave Water Agency

Responsible water management policies require sensible and transparent fiscal management processes. Securing water rights, building delivery infrastructure, and maintaining intricate systems of pipelines, pumps and pressure valves are all long-term projects requiring long-term capital funding procurement and coalition-building to secure a stable and sustainable supply of high quality water for the High Desert.

The Mojave Water Agency Board and staff work year-round to be forward-thinking, anticipating trends in policies affecting both water and economics. Combined with a conservative fiscal approach, the timing of MWA Board decisions has resulted in many science-based solutions to critical issues before they affect the region. This approach has suited our stakeholders well by positioning the agency to develop and fund regionally-appropriate policies and programs, both in preparation for leaner property tax revenues and anticipation of state/ federal government requirements.

The approach used to develop solutions, propose them to the Board for adoption and implement adopted policies stems from our cyclical outlook on regional water management and program/project funding needs. This process is largely driven by the development of the agency’s Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP). These multi-agency, regional plans are developed in cooperation with our Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), a stakeholder-driven group comprised of local water districts, resource management agencies, and other affected stakeholders from the MWA service area.

As the needs of the region are assessed by the TAC and MWA Board, projects emerge and programmatic and economic analyses are performed in order to prioritize projects inside of the plan. As financing options are explored and developed, an action plan of implementation is created and ultimately executed, completing the fiscal planning and capital expenditure cycle used by the Agency.

MWA has re-entered that cycle again, with over $120 million now invested in capital projects identified from the last round of planning. These investments include the Regional Recharge and Recovery Project, Oro Grande Wash Recharge Project, Water Conservation Incentive Program, Invasive Species Removal Program, Joshua Basin Recharge Project, Ames/Reche Groundwater Storage and Recovery Program/Management Agreement, and others. Despite a 26% decline in property tax revenues, reserves remain strong and the agency is well positioned to identify and prioritize more current, innovative opportunities for future regional water management actions.

Many examples of successful economic and programmatic results from this forward-thinking approach are below:

  • The development and adoption of the MWA 2004 Regional Water Management Plan was done in close cooperation with the Department of Water Resources and local stakeholders, helping to secure over $50 million in grant funding between 2004 and 2012 toward the water management projects identified in the previous paragraph.
  • Regional conservation actions toward a goal of reducing gallons per capita per day (gpcd) water usage by 20% before the year 2020 was adopted in early 2004, over five years before the state mandated its incorporation into the 2009 Legislative Water Package (SB7x et al.); and the High Desert region is well on its way to reaching that goal.
  • A Five-Year Strategic Financial Plan was adopted in 2005, setting a course for securing grant funding awards and the match funding needed for their receipt. By identifying capital project funding approaches and grant eligibility needs, this plan gave the agency a “leg up” when it came to procuring funding partnerships.
  • To responsibly pay for and deliver available imported water supplies for groundwater banking, the agency adopted its Groundwater Banking Policy in 2006, establishing thresholds and direction for anticipating, saving and spending on groundwater recharge supplies before they become available for purchase.
  • MWA invests in future imported supplies with long-term sustainability in mind, thus the 2009 purchase of an additional 14,000 acre-feet of imported water supplies from the State Water Project. Regional economic strength will continue to rely upon stable water supplies – including imported supplies. Identifying demands and investing in their delivery has helped to situate the High Desert with a high quality of life for residents in a business-friendly climate.
  • In 2012, the construction and operation of both R-cubed and the Oro Grande Wash Recharge Project are current examples of regional water management solutions derived from the IRWMP process. These projects provide a more sustainable water supply for the communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville, and unincorporated San Bernardino County.

As the process for IRWMP development continues, we invite stakeholders and water users in the High Desert to participate with us in the planningprocess. Watch for TAC meetings on both Facebook and the Board and Committee meeting calendar on our website to keep up-to-date on opportunities to participate in this important process.

For more information on Mojave Water Agency or to speak with our highly qualified staff about your water management questions, we can be reached by telephone at (760) 946-7000. You can check out our website at www.mojavewater.org, or catch us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mojavewater.

Mojave Water Agency is one of 29 State Water Project contractors with access to water from the California Aqueduct. As the only wholesaler in the region, we import high quality water supplies and recharge our groundwater supplies, securing a stable and sustainable supply for the 4,900 square miles of High Desert we serve.

General Water

Will a Big Quake Leave our Water Supplies “High and Dry?”

Published by:

By Art Bishop, President, Mojave Water Agency Board of Directors

[The following excerpts are from a February 22, 2012 article by Aaron Task of The Daily Ticker] “…The Strait of Hormuz is a waterway that connects the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea. It is the only passage to the open ocean for some of the biggest oil producers in the Middle East…

…Because so much of the world’s oil travels through the Strait, any disruption to the shipping channel would have a major impact on global crude oil prices, which ultimately determine the price we pay for gas at the pump.

Some analysts estimate the price of oil could go up by 50% within days if there’s a disruption of supply, which would mean much higher prices for us filling our tanks at the gas station — and anything else that requires the use of oil. Crude oil and gas prices have risen sharply since September in large part because of the threat of a disruption in the Strait of Hormuz…”

Once again, America is at the mercy of overseas oil producers and because of the instability in the Persian Gulf, we are paying much higher prices for gasoline—and the gasoline equivalent of “the Big One” (closing the Strait of Hormuz) hasn’t hit.

Californians face a similar crisis as the Strait of Hormuz, but our “Strait” is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and our “oil” is our water supply. We’ve been told for years when it comes to earthquakes, the “Big One” could happen at any moment and that a significant portion of the state’s water supply could be wiped out for a year or longer. So we buy earthquake kits, flashlights, bottled water, extra canned food for our homes—we take action to prepare. Billions of dollars have been spent retrofitting bridges, highways, hospitals, schools and prisons. But to date, no effective measures have been taken to secure our water supply in the event of an earthquake. Because of prudent management by the board of directors, including establishment of a water banking program, Mojave Water Agency’s service area would likely not be adversely affected like other areas in the state in the event of a catastrophic earthquake. But the region’s supplies won’t last indefinitely. It’s time to retrofit our state’s water delivery system.

The main concern is about a 6.7 earthquake striking Northern California and its effect on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a network of rivers, streams, marshes and grasslands—the largest estuary on the West Coast and home to unique communities and farming interests, and it currently doubles as the state’s primary water conveyance system, sending freshwater to 25 million Californians throughout Northern, Central and Southern California.

But that water is ushered through by 100-year old levees that are weak, poorly engineered and could collapse in the event of an earthquake. If that happens, water from the San Francisco Bay would rush into the Delta, turning freshwater into saltwater. The economic toll of this seismic event could amount to $40 billion from losses in water supplies, farm production, wages and jobs, and downed utilities.

To avoid a catastrophe as described above, public water agencies have been working with state and federal agencies, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders on a comprehensive plan to protect California’s water supply, protect local communities, and restore the Delta’s ailing ecosystem. The plan, known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), couples a new water delivery system with habitat restoration to achieve long-term water supply reliability and a healthy Delta ecosystem.

New infrastructure — either a tunnel or canal — would carry a carefully managed portion of water underneath or around the Delta, rather than through the fragile ecosystem and away from the weak levees. By doing this, we would restore reliability to our water supply, protect it from floods and earthquakes, improve water quality, all while restoring and protecting the Delta ecosystem.

The BDCP is likely to be one of the largest public works projects in California history and public water agencies have already agreed to provide the funding for construction. With five years of research and planning, and more than 300 public meetings already complete, the state is now close to finalizing the BDCP and beginning the environmental review process.

A survey released last month by California public opinion research firm Probolsky Research (http://www.probolskyresearch.com/new-poll-california-voters-support-water-bond-but-display-little-knowledge-of-the-bay-delta/) indicates that:

  • 78 percent of Californians did not know what the Delta is
  • 86 percent of Southern Californians did not know about the Delta
  • 70 percent of respondents outside of Southern California did not know about the Delta

It’s time for residents throughout the state to get informed and understand the risks to our water supply system and the solutions presented by the BDCP. The Southern California Water Committee, including support from Mojave Water Agency, has launched a public education program, “Delta Disrupted,” to provide more information on this critical issue.To learn more, to request materials or to download a sample letter of support for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, check out www.socalwater.org/delta-disrupted.

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