Water usage during the September and October period at Fern Valley Water District was 1.1 million gallons less than the same two months in 2014. For the year, Fern Valley customers have reduced consumption nearly 3.5 million gallons compared to the first 10 months of 2014. The October savings was about 16 percent and for the whole year consumption is nearly 12 percent less than in 2014.

Compared to consumption in 2013, which is Gov. Jerry Brown’s and the State Water Resources Control Board’s benchmark year, Fern Valley consumption is 26 percent less.

The results of the reduced consumption appear mixed. General Manager Steve Erler reported that well production increased 20 percent in October from September. However, the groundwater level of the district’s wells fell again in October. For example, the observation well at the district office fell almost 7 inches and is now nearly 4-and-a-half feet below the October 2014 level.

Director James Rees acknowledged the customers’ water saving, but President Robert Krieger also recognized that the conservation resulted in a drop in water sales revenue.

The September and October billing period generated sales of about $43,100, which is $12,700 or 23 percent less than the same period in 2014.

Erler mentioned that the Idyllwild Fire Department needed about 60,000 gallons of water to extinguish the house fire on Scenic Drive on Nov. 15. This usage will appear in the November and December billing report, he said.

Erler also announced the completion of the pipeline project along San Jacinto, Tahquitz and Rim Rock roads. While a final payment remains due, the whole project was about $135,000 below the original budgeted figure.

The board also reviewed the draft audit report and expects the final audit to be available at the December meeting.