Missing the water mark (January 11, 2016)

Local providers fail to meet state standards in November, but they’re not alone

SACRAMENTO — Californians failed to meet the state’s water conservation standard in November for the second straight month; however, the subpar numbers were expected as outdoor water use typically drops in the winter months, according to the State Water Resources Control Board.


The City of Adelanto was not included in the board’s report; City Engineer and Public Works Director Tom Thornton told the Daily Press the city reported its numbers, but those values were incorrect so the state asked for a recalculation. The numbers were resubmitted, Thornton said, but he could not provide them as of Friday.

All other water providers in the High Desert combined for a conservation average of 15 percent with Victorville — at 17 percent — coming closest to meeting its standard.

Both Apple Valley Ranchos and Spring Valley Lake customers are above their cumulative standards of 28 and 32 percent, respectively.

Ranchos General Manager Tony Penna previously told the Daily Press that AVR customers need to conserve at an average of 15 percent through February for the company to remain above its mandate.

Golden State Water Co. ratepayers in Barstow have conserved enough water to post cumulative savings of 23.9 percent between May and November; however, GSW’s mandate is 24 percent and Resources Manager and Chief Hydrologist Toby Moore recently reported that the company could move into Stage 2 of its drought plan, which includes per customer allotments for water use and surcharges when consumption rises above those allotments if the downward trend continues.

We would love to not have to move into a higher stage, Moore said at the time, but if we don’t see a change in the pattern, we’ll likely have to move into some other effort — whatever that is.

At 26.2 percent total savings, the City of Victorville is also positioned just shy of its 28 percent mandate, data showed, as is CSA 70J — Oak Hills — where residents are fewer than 2 points off of their 28 percent mandate.

The City of Hesperia and the Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District, however, remain the lowest performers in the region.

Since May, Hesperia has reduced water consumption by 22.5 percent. That is well below that city’s 32 percent mandate and a goal Mayor Bill Holland recently called unrealistic.

Outdoor water use in Hesperia is limited to five days per week and, in the High Desert, only the Phelan Pinon Hills CSD has been more lenient with regard to restricting outdoor irrigation as residents in those communities can currently use water outside their homes seven days per week.

Cumulative savings among Phelan and Pinon Hills residents stands at 16.7 percent through November; the CSD’s standard is 32 percent.


Source: Matthew Cabe, Daily Press