Wastewater Made Clear: Sewer Project Will Help Sustain Local Water Supply During Droughts

This month Governor Jerry Brown mandated Californians to reduce water use by 25% and urged all communities to conserve water as a result of what has been labeled as possibly one of the worst droughts in California history. Many communities in California are facing water shortages and are implementing mandatory water-use restrictions to ensure adequate supplies for the future. Luckily, our community has a solution to combat multiple dry years that cause droughts and reduce our allocation of much needed water. That solution is the Sewer Project.

Currently, our community relies heavily on importing water from the State Water Project (SWP) to sustain an adequate level of groundwater supply. Every year, Hi-Desert Water District customers use about 3,000 acre feet of water (approx. 977 million gallons). This water is replaced by SWP deliveries because of the lack of natural recharge in our desert area. As the drought worsens, it’s time for Yucca Valley to be proactive and become less reliant on unpredictable State water deliveries for ground water replenishment.

One of the ways our community will become less reliant is from the Sewer Project. After the Assessment District is approved, funding will become available to build a collection system and wastewater treatment facility for Phase 1 which will become the ultimate water conservation tool. This system will collect and treat wastewater to a standard that can be safely returned to our aquifer through recharge ponds, so it can then percolate down through the ground to replenish local groundwater. This process will provide approximately 1,100 acre feet of water each year to our local water supply. That’s enough water to serve more than half the amount of households in Yucca Valley for one year. This amount does not include the additional water we will be receiving once Phase 2 and 3 are constructed.

As we are in the middle of making the decision on whether or not to approve the Assessment District to secure low-interest financing, it’s important to remember the many benefits, especially during critical times like these, that our community will receive from this project. The Sewer Project is not only a solution to the State Septic Discharge Prohibition, but it’s also a long term investment for the future of our community.

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