In 2013, water production has increased and well water is a much larger portion of Fern Valley Water District’s production. For the first half of 2013, the district’s production was 8 percent greater than the same period in 2012. Firefighters’ need for water during the Mountain Fire contributed to an increase in July, General Manager Steve Erler told the board.

“It was reassuring that water was available,” Director Robert Krieger noted.

In July 2012, well water accounted for about 15 percent of the district’s use. The paucity of rainfall has significantly diminished stream flow; consequently, wells are providing about 70 percent of the district’s water this year.

“The groundwater supply is holding up,” Erler said. “The well levels are declining, but OK.”

Well levels fell slightly in August; the largest was a 1.2-foot decrease for well no. 8, he reported. Compared to summer 2012, well levels throughout the district are about 1 to 5 feet lower.

Another portion of the recent production increases have been used to begin re-filling Tank no. 11, which is now 64 percent full, Erler said. The tank’s capacity is 3 million gallons. He also reported that as the tank has returned to the distribution system, the office has received no complaints about the water taste.

In financial business, the board also reviewed its 2012-13 budget results, which ended on June 30. The final income totals were 6 percent more than projected, a net increase of about $65,000. Tax revenue was $40,000 more than the expected total and water sales revenue was up 5 percent.

District expenses were 86 percent of the projected budget, or about $115,000 less. Both employee benefits and general engineering were nearly $25,000 under budget.

In other business, Erler said he anticipates that the pipeline project on Fern Valley Road will be completed before September. Most of the pipeline installation is finished and water samples are being tested before the new construction is connected to the distribution system. Road resurfacing should begin soon, he added.