Several members of the Idyllwild Arts Academy management team attended the Aug. 14 meeting of the Idyllwild Water District. The school is in the process of obtaining Riverside County approval for a revision to its master plan, but needs a letter from the water district indicating that sufficient water is available to supply both the potable and potential firefighting needs of the school.
But the county has deferred action on the request. “No decision, it was continued off calendar. A new public hearing notice will go out once the environmental work is completed. That cannot commence until the IWD weighs in on the validity of the water study provided by the applicant’s consultants,” wrote Matt Straite, Riverside County Planning.
IWD had requested a study from the school of the entire water demand needed to satisfy all the potential construction encompassed in the revised master plan.
The district has insisted that approving individual projects piecemeal could result in significant problems in the Tollgate area.
In July, former Idyllwild Arts President Brian Cohen sent a letter indicating it would be willing to share the upfront cost of constructing a new 300,000-gallon water storage tank in the area.
The study confirms the school needs additional water resources to meet the future demands, including fire suppression. This is one reason the school is seeking a larger meter connection from the water district.
The cumulative increase in water demand will be nearly 45 percent by 2035, although the school estimates the immediate increases will be no greater than its use five years ago. Wastewater is estimated to grow more than 60 percent in the same period.