The Indian Wells Valley Water District’s Water Management committee met on Thursday, Dec. 27 at the IWVWD boardroom. It was David Saint-Amand’s first such meeting since being appointed to the committee on Dec. 12.

The committee discussed the actions taken at the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board meeting that was held on Nov. 15, 2018. The committee was also briefed on a meeting with the Department of Water Resources that took place at the offices of Stetson Engineering in Covina.  Amongst the topics covered were the submittal of quarterly reports including invoices related to the Prop. 1 grant awarded to fund drafting the Groundwater Sustainability Plan. The first report will be submitted in January, and Stetson will be the company drafting the reports.

The committee briefly mentioned the Hydrological Conceptual Model and that there would be an official update in February. There was supposed to be an update in January but there was a delay due to additional cleanup of the datasets that will require an estimated 100 hours of work. There will be a meeting on April 10 in Palo Alto for those involved in the Stanford Groundwater Architecture Project to update progress.

Lastly, there will be an update on the Brackish Water Study once the revised scope is submitted and approved. The submittal should happen in early January.

“This is an exciting project out here. It’s important for us,” said IWVWD board member Ron Kicinski. 

The main future agenda items that the water management committee discussed was having a general discussion for alternate water sources. The results of these discussions would most likely be shared with the Technical Advisory Committee, as appropriate.

“We are the water district for the entire basin, not just the valley,” Kicinski said. 

This discussion would include looking into alternate water sources for Searles Valley and having a discussion on the canyons and freshwater coming down from the nearby mountains. Searles Valley does not have a formal water authority. “This does not mean cutting off Searles Valley,” Saint-Amand reiterated. 

There are a couple of Groundwater Authority committee meetings coming up, the first of which will be the Technical Advisory Committee meeting and the Policy Advisory Committee on Jan. 3 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. The location is to be determined. They will be either held in the IWVWD boardroom or Ridgecrest City Council chambers. The first section of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan will be available for these committees to review.

There will also be an IWVWD P&E meeting on Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. followed by a Finance Committee meeting at 3 p.m.  The IWVWD Board of Directors’ next meeting will be Jan. 14 at 6 p.m.; all meetings will be held at the IWVWD boardroom.