Terry Lyons general manager at Idyllwild Water District and Ittai Kurzon, from University of California San Diego review a map of Foster Lake where Kurzon installed monitoring devices to track earthquake activity. Photo by Grace Reed

Allan Morphett and Warren Monroe were re-elected president and vice president of the Idyllwild Water District (IWD) Board of Directors last week. Morphett was first elected president in December 2005 and Monroe was chosen vice president in December 2003.The duo has served on the board since December 2003.

The board is considering changes to its health insurance policy for retirees and staff. They have been investigating alternative programs and policies this fall, according to Jim Ludy, auditor and controller. However, the small size of the agency’s group has limited available options.

Over the next few months, IWD will continue to explore options and may make changes in its policy then. For example, Ludy said IWD pays $27,000 annually for retirees’ health insurance.

“We want the policy to be fair, reasonable and affordable,” Morphett said.

In other business, Lyons told the board that he and IWD staff and consultants would travel to Sacramento in early December to discuss the recycled water project with state officials. The district had been requested to file a grant application that will accelerate the agency’s construction grant submission.

In water news, IWD water production continues to decline this year. In October, customers used about 12 percent less water than October 2010. The total consumption for the first 10 months of the year has been nearly 72.2 million gallons, which is 3 percent less than 2010 and the lowest production for this period since 2003.

“We have a lot less water sales,” reported Ludy. Through October, his estimates are about 250,000 cubic feet more than actual sales. “And it won’t be better in the next few months.” Nevertheless, IWD reports a net income of $55,000 through the first third of the fiscal year.

Although Foster Lake is not full, at 16 feet, its water level is higher than October 2010 (12.5 feet) and October 2009 (4.5 feet). During October, IWD did divert some Strawberry Creek flow to the lake.