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.

 

  • Featured post

    New Lawsuit Filed Over Cadiz Water Project

    The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management in response to an action taken in the final days of the prior administration that would ease the path for the Cadiz Water Project. A right-of-way for the water mining scheme was granted without any public review. Read the news item by local radio KCDZ 107.7 and the press release from the Center for Biological Diversity for the latest information on this decade-long battle against draining important desert water reserves.  
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    History of Water in the Morongo Basin - Desert Institute Video

    Marina West, Manager of the Bighorn Desert View Water Agency and recently a Board member and Treasurer for MBCA, presented an illustrated virtual lecture on the "History of Water in the Morongo Basin: A Perspective on an Undervalued Resource" as a program for the Desert Institute, the educational arm of the Joshua Tree National Park Association. In this one-hour YouTube recording, Marina provides the Basin's water history in both geological and historical timeframes, with many anecdotes about the pioneers of harvesting water through the development wells in the Morongo Basin.
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    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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    Pumped Storage at Eagle Mountain and Related Issues

    A comprehensive article about the Eagle Mountain pumped storage project and similar projects in other areas of the country was published by the Los Angeles Times. MBCA has had continuing concerns about the use of the old Eagle Mountain mine for many years, especially as it relates to the environmental health of Joshua Tree National Park (which is noted in the article). To review past MBCA News Updates related to Eagle Mountain, go to MBCA's Search page and type in "Eagle" or "Eagle Mountain" and you'll find several dozen links to past relevant MBCA News and EBlasts. 
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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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    Pro-Eagle Mountain Project Fails in State Senate

    California Senate Bill 772, which would have provided a supportive policy for hydroelectric energy storage projects like the Eagle Mountain project, failed to pass a full Senate vote. The bill could be reintroduced next year. Read details in this Desert Sun article and in the pre-vote Los Angeles Times opinion piece against the bill.
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