New findings show estimates of safe yield to be 13,400 acf per year
Indian Wells Valley Water District (IWVWD) Emmet McCormick Ridgecrest, CA–
Newly released analysis related to the Indian Wells Valley groundwater safe yield and storage were released Friday by a Technical Working Group put together to ensure that the best available science is used to develop the most accurate estimates of the IWV groundwater basin and local groundwater supplies, and thus ensure that potentially costly groundwater management efforts (such as a proposed $200 Million+ imported water pipeline project) are implemented prudently. The results are significantly different than the current values used by the Groundwater Authority.
The Technical Working Group began meeting in early 2022 and is composed of six professional groundwater science and engineering consulting firms appointed by entities that accounted for more than 80% of the valley’s total groundwater production in Water Year 2022. The Group’s goal was to accurately estimate the “safe yield” of the IWV and the total amount of groundwater and potable groundwater in storage, using a comprehensive analysis of the most complete, up-to-date data sets available and state-of-the-art analytical technology.
Among other findings, the Group estimates the safe yield to be 13,400 acre-feet per year compared to the GA’s 7,650 acre-feet sustainable yield estimate in the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). The Group also found that the total amount of potable groundwater in storage is approximately 40 million acre-feet, about 38.25 million acre-feet more than the GSP estimates.
“The Indian Wells Valley Water District remains committed to ensuring high quality and affordable water to all residents. Doing this requires ensuring that the best available science is used to determine the most accurate estimates of water available in storage within the IWV,” stated IWV Water District Board President Mallory Boyd.
“The large discrepancy between the Group’s estimates and the GSP means that it is time to re-assess and re-evaluate how the Indian Wells Valley works to achieve sustainability moving forward.”
The mission of the IWVWD is to deliver the highest quality water at the best possible price while continuing to serve as respectful stewards of the environment.