Palmdale in talks for long-term water supply
In 1991, a drought year, its allocation was cut to 10 percent, LaMoreaux said. The extra water from Western Canal would come from that district’s long-standing rights to the Feather River, Western Canal general manager Ted Trimble said. The water would be made available for Palmdale either by rice farmers leaving some of their land unplanted or by pumping water out of their wells to supply the rice fields, Trimble said. Western Canal must complete an environmental impact report on the plan as well as get permission for the well pumping, Trimble said. No agreement is expected to be in place this year, which so far has been slightly wetter than average in both areas. In 2003, Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District signed an agreement with Western Canal for up to 20,000 acre-feet of water that summer. That spring turned out to be wet, however, so the water was never delivered, Trimble said. Metropolitan and Palmdale were part of another agreement in 2005, but that turned out to be the wettest rainy season in Los Angeles in more than 120 years, so Western Canal’s water was again unneeded, Trimble said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The talks come as Palmdale Water District and other Antelope Valley water officials face growing populations and a declining underground water table that feeds local wells. Farmers and local water districts are in a legal battle over the rights to pump well water. Other local water districts have been looking at storing underground in wet years the excess California Aqueduct water available then. The Palmdale Water District serves about 25,000 homes and businesses – some 95,000 people – and has been gaining about 500 new homes a year. It covers mostly central and eastern Palmdale, from the Antelope Valley Freeway eastward south of Avenue P. Palmdale Water both pumps water out of wells and gathers it from the California Aqueduct as well as from Little Rock Reservoir. From the aqueduct, the district is theoretically entitled to as much as 21,300 acre-feet a year, but state officials said the average it can expect is about 70 percent of that. PALMDALE – Palmdale Water District officials are talking with a Sacramento Valley water district about entering into a long-term contract that would supply Palmdale with extra water in drought years. Palmdale Water District trustees have approved a “letter of intent” for the purposes of securing long-term supplies from Western Canal Water District, which could send Feather River water south through the State Water Project’s California Aqueduct, officials said. “That would help us increase the reliability of water through the State Water Project,” Palmdale Water District General Manager Dennis LaMoreaux said. Prices and terms are still being negotiated, LaMoreaux said, but Western Canal’s general manager said his district is willing to supply Palmdale an annual average over 10 years of 7,500 acre-feet – enough for 7,500 Palmdale families a year – with as much as 15,000 acre-feet available in any one year.