IWV Groundwater Authority meets

Concerns from previous GA fees workshop meeting linger

By BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Groundwater-pumping fees have been the primary water topic of discussion for the last month, especially at meetings of the Indian Wells Vally Groundwater Authority. The authority’s regular meeting was Thursday, April 19, at City Hall. While future fees were not on the agenda, the board couldexpect to hear continuing concerns from local water users.

Among concerns was the authority’s proposed $939,070 reserve for Groundwater Sustainability Plan operations. With the plan being to charge pumpers $45-75 per acre foot of water just to cover funds through 2020, and frequent discussion of costly water importation as a long-term solution, pumpers questioned if a nearly $1-million reserve is justified.

“The reserve, I feel, is too high,” said IWV Water District Director Chuck Griffin during a recent workshop meeting, speaking as a member of the public. He said under current water code, the authority should implement fees for the plan and the plan only, not for a large reserve.

During board comments, Peter Brown (also a director for IWVWD) discussed the possibility of cutting the reserve in half.

“That makes a $500,000 difference,” he said. “I wouldn’t consider anything off the table right now. Anything is possible.”

Bob Page, board representative for San Bernardino County said the reserve amount was a deliberate choice and that 20 percent is a best-management-practices figure.

Details from Thursday’s meeting were not available at press time. For more information see future editions of the News Review.

Story First Published: 2018-04-20