Victorville: No immunity from water cuts (May 30, 2015)

Industrial uses must comply, but city official provides no specifics

VICTORVILLE — Including multi-family complexes, roughly 83 percent of water use here is attributed to residential homes, with the general culprit being outdoor irrigation — an activity that skyrockets in the summer months, the city’s top water official said last week.

Director of Public Works and Water Sean McGlade said water production increases by 65 percent between May and September.

Yet as the city is faced with cutting its water use by 28 percent, the second-most stringent order placed on water suppliers in the state, McGlade insisted that commercial and industrial customers were also not immune to the tougher conservation rules enacted last week by the Victorville Water District.

These provisions apply to all customers, McGlade said in an email. Customers are prohibited from wasting water and are limited on outdoor irrigation times/days, but there are no specific mandates on individual customers to reduce water usage by 28 percent.

His comments were in response to questions about how large facilities like the Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s would be impacted by the water district’s plan to hit the 28 percent mark.


The City Council approved an ordinance and resolution May 19 declaring a water shortage emergency, which immediately heightened conservation measures to Shortage Stage 2 in order to reach its goal over 2013 figures set by the state’s Water Resources Control Board.

Stage 2 adds to rules from Stage 1, which includes prohibitions on wasting water and runoff. Under Stage 2, the third-most strict of a four-stage tier, there are limits on sprinkler usage year-round, fall overseeding of turf areas and hand car washing. All swimming pools, spas and hot tubs must be covered while not in use, and exterior landscape plans for developments must be approved by the water district.

Addressing another facility, the High Desert Power Project, McGlade clarified that it does not use potable water for its process cooling, instead utilizing a system independent of the water district’s potable distrubution system.

They purchase State Water Project Water, treat it, use some of it directly and inject some (of) it into the ground for banking, to be withdrawn at a later date, he wrote. In addition, HDPP uses reclaimed water from the City’s Industrial Waste Water Treatment Plant and from the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority’s facility, he said.

In 2014, HDPP used reclaimed water for over 60 percent of their cooling needs. There has been a recent request from HDPP to use reclaimed water for irrigation purposes. The city is helping to provide that service from its reclaimed water distribution system at SCLA.

In responding to scathing criticisms included in a state auditor’s report last month, City Manager Doug Robertson said the water district had sold 250 million gallons of reclaimed water to the power plant during fiscal year 2015 alone.

The report had blasted construction of the $31 million wastewater plant in 2009 — $11 million of which came from ratepayer revenue — and suggested that its primary purpose was to meet the wastewater needs for Dr Pepper Snapple Group.


Source: Shea Johnson, Daily Press