As the drought continues throughout the state of California, the Mojave Water Agency (MWA) is urging residents and businesses to curb water usage to ensure the groundwater basins in its 4,900 square-mile service area remain a reliable, healthy source of water.
As a water wholesaler, MWA doesn’t sell water directly to consumers, but manages the High Desert’s water supply, which is 100% groundwater. The Agency is tasked with measuring and importing water from the California Aqueduct when necessary, and implementing the court-sanctioned groundwater management system, also known as “the adjudication,” that keeps the consumption of water in balance with reserves for retailers to provide to their customers.
According to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the state is experiencing its driest season in recorded history. The lack of precipitation and depleted snowpack have resulted in rapidly declining reservoir levels, which lead to Governor Gavin Newsom issuing an executive order in March calling on water agencies to implement Level 2 of their drought contingency plans.
For MWA, this means continued analysis of the local water supply, coordination with retail water agencies to encourage water conservation, and a proactive communication campaign.
“We live in the desert, so conservation is a way of life,” said Board President Jeanette Hayhurst. “Times like these are exactly why Mojave Water Agency exists. We have been using sound science to monitor and manage the region’s groundwater resources for more than 60 years, so there are no surprises.”
In addition to the adjudication and participating in the State Water Project, Hayhurst explained the Agency has implemented several measures to prevent overdraft of the region’s water.
Among them are:
• Investment in technology and basin infrastructure
• Adoption of an Imported Water Purchasing and Pre-Stored Water policies
• Turf removal grant programs
• Legal advocacy to combat water theft and contamination by illegal cannabis growers
• A robust education, conservation, and outreach program
• The Minimal Producers ordinance that takes effect on July 1
• Annual updates to the Agency’s Strategic Plan
“There isn’t an ‘easy button’ we can press to solve this problem,” said Hayhurst. “Drought response is going to take every resident, every business and every water agency working together to reduce our water use regionally for the long term.”
For conservation tips or more information on how Mojave Water Agency is serving the area during this unprecedented drought, visit www.mojavewater.org.