The Indian Wells Valley Water District board of directors meets Monday night at 6 p.m. at its main office, 500 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.

The board will hear committee reports, including one from the finance committee on a cost of service study, savings from the water district’s solar project, which has provided some benefit as the facilities go online. 

The plants and equipment committee will also report that a contractor has finished consolidation of the gravel pack and sealed the top of the liner as part of the water district’s repair of Well 18. The district scheduled repairs to be completed by the end of the month, but may be pushed into June because the project is a week behind schedule.

The board will hear a request from two Ridgecrest residents about their “unexplained high water bill” at their Sunset Road home. 

In a letter dated May 8, Mary Wegener noted that she had been out of the state for most of the past two years. In December 2016, a new meter was installed at her house. She received a bill for $226.73 on her Feb. 8, 2018, bill.

Also in her letter, Wegener mentioned asked how her meter was read, including if it was done from the water district or by someone in the field. She said the help she received when visiting the office was to have her meter taken in at a cost of $75 to have it checked or “go get a plumber, you must have a leak that you cannot see.” 

“Telling me this is just a higher cost to us,” she wrote. “Many people cannot afford this and I had no large leak.” She noted that no one was in the house for a week in January, that she was out of the state most of the time. and with her son living there alone, which should have kept water usage down.

Wegener has requested an adjustment for her bill and to have the late charges can be done.

Wegener has appeared before the board both in March and April.

For more information or to view the agenda packet, visit http://www.iwvwd com/board-of-directors/ board-meeting-agendas/

Water district to withdraw from IWV Cooperative Groundwater Management Group

On Thursday, the water district will formally announce it’s withdraw as a signatory member of the  IWV Cooperative Groundwater Management Group at the latter’s 3 p.m. meeting.

IWVWD General Manager Don Zdeba said that the decision was made at the water district’s April board meeting, with the goal of focusing its resources on the IWV Groundwater Authority.”

Zdeba said the cooperative group signatories were notified last month.

“With the recent losses of the Kern County Water Agency, Kern County and the Navy, many of the key signatories are no longer participants,” Zdeba said in his notification to the group. “The Cooperative Group certainly served a purpose throughout its 23-year lifespan, but that purpose is now diminished by the formation of the Groundwater Authority.  I have been directed to make the formal announcement at the May 17th meeting.” 

The IWV Cooperative Groundwater Management Group serves as a public water data-sharing group made up of the major stakeholders in the valley as a way to pool resources and not duplicate efforts conducted by individual entities. The Cooperative also utilizes a technical advisory committee to monitor and review those efforts or projects to understand the IWV water resources. Those include rain and stream gauges in different locations around the basin, and monitoring more than 100 wells.

However, the Indian Wells Groundwater Authority has been tasked under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 to develop a sustainability plan by January 2020. The plan must achieve sustainability within 20 years of being implemented. 

The IWVGA has tasked two of its own committees to help develop policies and mechanisms for the sustainability plan.

The cooperative group will also discuss its 2017 water production data, funding for stream gauges and other projects, update on SGMA legislation. The group meets at 3 p.m. on Thursday at the IWVWD boardroom, 500 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.