Water Issues

Photo courtesy of Kevin Wong

Morongo 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 May 2021 Governor Newsom declared new restrictions.  

In addition to tips for reducing household water use, each water 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. 

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

    Update and History of Cadiz Water Project

    Posted by · January 25, 2024 2:34 PM
    This January 25 column in the Los Angeles Times updates the status of the Cadiz Water project and provides a good overview of its decades-long attempts to "mine" water from the Mojave Desert. MBCA has frequently provided public comments and joined group comments against the project, most recently in August 2023. While the pipeline approval we opposed was granted, the column points out that "Last month (December 2023) the agency reissued the approval for Cadiz to acquire the gas pipeline, but not to convert it for water." (our emphasis)

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  • Featured post

    MBCA Comments at County Land Use Services Open House

    Posted by · August 31, 2023 6:57 PM
    At the County Land Use Services Open House held in Joshua Tree on August 30, MBCA's President Steve Bardwell talked at some length with Mark Wardlaw, new Director of the department. MBCA sent a followup letter outlining concerns about land use issues that affect the Morongo Basin's unincorporated communities particularly. The letter includes some specific suggestions and summarizes our concerns related to water issues, Community Action Guides, climate change, Short-Term Rental ordinances, and a number of other topics.   
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  • Featured post

    MBCA Joins Appeal to BLM to Stop Cadiz Water Project

    Posted by · August 25, 2023 3:28 PM · 2 reactions
    Once again MBCA and many other concerned organizations have made an appeal to prevent the export of precious desert water by Cadiz, Inc. They have again requested permission from the Bureau of Land Management for right-of-way access to an existing pipeline. The letter signed by MBCA and 45 other groups summarizes the harm that would be caused and notes a previous denial of permission that had been granted under the Trump administration and requests another denial. (You can read a number of prior MBCA News posts about Cadiz by using our SEARCH function.)
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  • Featured post

    MBCA Joins Trailer Bill Concerns

    Posted by · June 05, 2023 11:14 AM
    With 100 other non-profit conservation-related organizations, MBCA signed a letter to entreat Governor Newsom and 15 state legislators on the Senate and Assembly budget committees to eliminate from the budget a number of infrastructure trailer bills that should be enacted through the legislative process instead. The 8 trailer bills cited would, if enacted through the budget, eliminate public input and considered evaluation for "important and complicated policies." 
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  • Featured post

    MBCA Supports Water Conservation Landscaping Act

    Posted by · April 13, 2023 3:44 PM
    MBCA joined more than 40 local, state, and national organizations in support of California Assemblymember Laura Friedman's AB 1573, the Water Conservation in Landscaping Act, introduced on February 17 and currently referred to the Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife. Issues addressed include improvements to the existing model ordinance, and overall the bill's provisions would set "the strongest level of water conservation requirements for new or major rehabilitated non-residential landscapes." Read the letter and the bill.
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  • Featured post

    A Change in Direction for Cadiz Water Project?

    Posted by · March 31, 2023 3:14 PM
    Speaking at an water industry event at the Salton Sea near Mecca on Monday, March 27, Scott Slater, the CEO of Cadiz, Inc, the company that wants to sell water from the Cadiz aquifer for enormous financial gain, shared that the company is considering piping water "to bring water to disadvantaged communities within our reach."

    Slater also revealed efforts "to pursue a relationship with the Salton Sea Authority...and the Torres Martinez tribe, to bring water to the Salton Sea and to benefit the tribe, which would happen via an exchange." Slater also noted that the company will then "push the water north into the northern hi-desert and then into the interconnected systems of the state," via its 220-mile Northern Pipeline.

    MBCA has long been concerned about the devastating effects of the proposed Cadiz Water Project. A series of our past News posts about Cadiz plus other water-related issues we have reported on, can be found by searching "water" on our website. 
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  • Featured post

    MBCA Joins Request for Extension on Amargosa Basin Water Management Hearing

    Posted by · April 16, 2022 8:41 AM
    MBCA is among 15 organizations requesting more time to prepare for involvement in hearings concerning water management and related biological resources in the Amargosa Basin. The Basin lies within the Mojave Desert and spreads across two states and four counties, including San Bernardino County. The group recommends that Nevada Department of Water Resources engage with stakeholders to examine potential negative impacts on groundwater for rural communities and on tourism drawn to the area by this unique ecosystem.
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  • Featured post

    The Desert's Role in California's 30x30 Plan

    Posted by · February 20, 2022 5:42 PM
    MBCA joined with many non-profit environmental and conservation organizations in recently signing comment letters related to California's 30x30 land and water conservation plan. The California Natural Resources Agency published the Draft Pathways Report that will guide the state's implementation of California Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-82-20 calling for conservation of 30% of California’s land and water to be protected by 2030. The draft plan underestimates the value of the desert's carbon sequestration and inaccurately describes the desert's real borders. MBCA joined 22 other organizations in creating an Inland Desert Regional Comment Letter to provide guidance on desert issues. MBCA also joined 61 organizations in a statewide comment letter on the Draft Report.
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