A well flow report contains mystery number

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Before the Idyllwild Water District meeting ended last week, General Manager Tom Lynch gave the directors a report with the monthly flow from each well used between July 2015 through July 2016.

This was in response to Director Steve Kunkle’s questioning. He was absent from this meeting.

Earlier in the meeting, Lynch reported on the falling well levels and that Foster Lake remains dry. This table addressed the relative productivity of wells in use each month.

While the well flow for each month was apparent, the table had a column on the right side labeled “TOTALS.” Mathematically, this was the sum of each well’s monthly flow in gallons per minute.

However, summing a rate, such as gpm, does not appear to yield a meaningful number. Foster Lake well no. 2 produced water between July and October 2015. The monthly flows ranged from 26.2 to 29.3 gpm for three months and in October it was 4.0 gpm. The “TOTALS” column correctly computes a figure of 87.4. But it is not clear whether this represents some cumulative flow or production in gallons or other units.

On Wednesday, Lynch said this column was the “total annual production equivalent.” Yet he would not explain what this represents. Is it gallons, cubic feet or acre feet?

In response to an email asking for help to use the table to describe the district’s water condition, Lynch declined any further communication with the Town Crier. Thus he would not explain what this number means and how it affects the district’s water condition.

“I had prepared answers to these questions, but after reading your paper’s various assertions, and that I am somehow unqualified for my position, maybe I shouldn’t be responding to any of your water-related questions,” he wrote.

As an example of why the “TOTALS” column doesn’t make sense, if you drove 10 miles per hour from Hemet to Idyllwild in July, then 5 mph in August and 15 miles per hour in September, IWD says your annual equivalent speed is 30 mph, more than twice your maximum in any month.

When asked if they could help explain the term “total annual production equivalent,” neither Fern Valley Water District General Manager Victor Jimenez nor Director Robert Krieger, a water engineer, said they were familiar with this unit. They also did not understand the summing of rates to yield a meaningful measure, unless the numbers were divided by the number of months in which they were produced to yield an average flow.

But Lynch insisted the figure was “TOTALS,” equivalent production.

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