Water Issues

reflected_Joshua_Tree__Kevin_Wong.jpgMorongo Basin residents are among the most water-conscious residents in the County (and probably in the state). Every local water district has information on its web pages in support of water conservation.  California's drought has been in the news for years, and in March 2015 Governor Brown declared new restrictions.  In addition to tips for reducing household water use, each District has some kind of demonstration garden to show the water conservation value of using desert natives and other drought-tolerant plants to create beautiful gardens. 

 

 

 

Photo by Kevin Wong

Below are links to the local Water District websites:

Bighorn Desert View Water Agency

Hi Desert Water District

Joshua Basin Water District

Twentynine Palms Water District

The Mojave Water Agency is also a critical player in water acquisition for the Morongo Basin.

The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms encourages water conservation on Base and provides this brochure describing its efforts and providing water conservation tips.

 

  • MBCA Joins Broad Coalition Opposing Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project

    MBCA is one of 27 diverse non-profit groups opposing any further consideration of the Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project in this June 23rd letter to Governor Newsom and the co-chairs of the recently created Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. Following three failed legislative efforts to seek bailout and authorization for its proposed Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project, Next Era is now seeking consideration from the Task Force. Attached to the Coalition letter is a similar request signed by the California Municipal Utilities Association, Southern California Public Power Authority, and Northern California Power Agency. Prior coalition letters of opposition to this project signed by MBCA in April and May are also included in the document.
     
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  • MBCA's Action on Eagle Crest Pumping Opposition

    In January 2020, MBCA sent a letter opposing state legislative action that would have enhanced the prospects for the Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project on the border of Joshua Tree National Park. Chief among our concerns is the inevitable overdraft of underground aquifers in the area and for the Park, with dire consequences for the flora and fauna. MBCA also joined a coalition letter signed by 24 organizations, spearheaded by the National Parks Conservation Association, to oppose amendments to the related legislation, AB2255, that adds to the "stacked deck" for furthering the Eagle Crest project. And most recently, on May 6, MBCA signed on to a new coalition letter opposing another related piece of legislation, AB2736. The letter concisely reiterates the reasons to oppose the project. While pumped storage can assist with California's energy future, the letter notes that "other pumped storage projects are more viable and economical," and this legislation seems to be a "ratepayer-funded bailout of the failing project." 
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  • Hi-Desert Water District Seeks Comments on its Mitigated Negative Declaration

    As part of its Sewer Collection System Project for Yucca Valley, the Hi-Desert Water District must file a Mitigated Negative Declaration describing what environmental disturbance will occur in Phases II and III of the project and how the consequences will be mitigated. Here is the Water District's Draft MND webpage that includes an overview of the process and all the relevant documents. Comments must be submitted by May 31, 2020.
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  • "Water for the Morongo Basin: The Next 50 Years" Program Report

    A keenly interested audience of almost 60 attended MBCA’s Fall Desert-Wise Living Lecture on September 28.

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    Mojave Water Agency’s General Manager, Tom McCarthy, provided not only a clear presentation about MWA's history and processes, he also responded patiently and instructively to a number of detailed questions.


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    He has provided MBCA with his PowerPoint presentation (a PDF version). While the slides in this version and without Tom's in-person explanations aren't as comprehensive as his full presentation, you will find a number of illustrations, maps and charts that are informative.

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    Thanks once again to the sponsors of MBCA’s Desert-Wise Living Series (see below) and especially to the volunteers and Board members who helped set up and manage the event.

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    This lecture was part of MBCA’s Desert-Wise Living Series, and was made possible through the generous funding of the Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency, Golden State Water Company, Hi-Desert Water District, Joshua Basin Water District, Mojave Water Agency, Southern California Edison, and Twentynine Palms Water Agency.

     

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  • Governor Newsom Has Signed SB 307

    Governor Newsom today signed SB 307, a bill that requires that any water mining projects such as the Cadiz water project undergo new additional review processes to prove it will avoid environmental harm. Many thanks are owed to the many MBCA supporters who wrote comments and called the Governor's office in support of the bill. The Governor's letter approving SB 307 outlines the reasons for his action. 
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  • Another Setback for the Cadiz Water Project

    A judge's decision on June 21 has reversed the BLM's 2017 ruling (which was itself a reversal of their prior decision) regarding the need for federal environmental review for the railroad right-of-way that relates to the Cadiz pipeline project. The next action is back in BLM's court. More details can be found in this Desert Sun article and with greater emphasis on the legal issues in this Courthouse News Service article. Prior news updates from MBCA on this and other water conservation-related news can be found on our "Water Issues" page.
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  • California Senate Bill Would Support Eagle Mountain Water Storage Project

    While not directly supporting the Eagle Mountain hydropower and storage project, the passage of SB 772 would require California to support projects that would store energy as part of the state's plan to increase renewable energy production. The increasing amount of solar and wind energy is more than can be used as it is produced, so storage becomes more important to continue reducing non-renewable energy consumption. This in-depth article in the Los Angeles Times provides perspective from both industry and environmental perspectives.
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  • Cadiz-related Bill Moves Forward in California Legislature

    Senate Bill 307 passed through the California Senate and will next need approval in the Assembly to provide additional environmental review for groundwater transfers like the proposed Cadiz project. Read details about SB 307 from the Desert Sun.
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  • Feinstein Support for CA Senate Bill 307

    In a Press Release delivered on Friday, May 10, Senator Dianne Feinstein urged the California Senate Appropriations Committee to approve SB 307 for further Senate consideration. The bill is key to protecting the California Desert from severe aquifer reduction should the Cadiz Water Project be approved. She states, “Enhanced state review is already in place for other treasured places in California, such as Lake Tahoe, San Francisco Bay and the California coastline. I strongly believe that California’s iconic desert merits the similar enhanced state review that SB 307 would provide.” Also, "I believe SB 307 is key to ensuring desert groundwater basins are not harmfully exploited by creating a commonsense state review process that safeguards California’s fragile desert lands and groundwater basins." The bill is scheduled for a hearing on May 16. Additional information can be found on Mojave Watch.org and the LA Times wrote an editorial against the project on May 15. 
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  • State Agency Concerned Over Cadiz Water Project

    In a letter to Cadiz CEO Scott Slater, California's Department of Fish and Wildlife expressed concerns about the possible effects of the Cadiz Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project on the ecological health of the Bonanza Springs area north of the proposed project. Concerns center on the environmental and hydrologic studies completed for the existing Environmental Impact Report. For more details read recent online articles in The Desert Sun and Mojave Watch and on local radio station KCDZ
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