While business at the Dec. 16 Idyllwild Water District board meeting was routine, the meeting itself was distinctive and noteworthy. Not only did the meeting last less than an hour, but Steven Kunkle and June Rockwell, elected in August, attended their first meeting as directors. In fact, Rockwell was the second on several motions, including the one to adjourn the meeting.
Finances took a slight hit in November due to the combination of regulatory fees and continued water conservation.
The water program had to pay its annual insurance fee of $7,500 and water consumption fell again. The result was a negative balance of $5,300, the first monthly deficit of 2015-16. However, for the year, the water program retains a healthy surplus.
November water revenues were about $1,400 less than in October; however, the volume of water sold was about 850,000 gallons more than last month. General Manager Tom Lynch said the mix between residential and commercial sales is the reason revenue declined, despite greater sales volume.
The sewer program paid its annual state inspection fee, this year more than $17,000, which resulted in a $2,000 loss this month for the program.
Lynch warned the board that Riverside County has been adjusting its fees and to expect an increase in payments to the county in the future.
In November, water production was 6.4 million gallons, which was about 1 million gallons more than in October and 500,000 less than November 2014.
For the 11 months of 2015, total consumption has been 68.9 million gallons, which is 13.5 percent or 10.7 million gallons less than the same period in 2014. Compared to the first 11 months of 2013, which is the benchmark year the governor uses for his conservation goals, production declined 16.9 million gallons or nearly 20 percent.
“Foster Lake is empty and we remain in Stage 2 [Water Conservation],” Lynch reported to the board. “We’re getting some precipitation and I’m hopeful that the El Niño will manifest itself.” The groundwater level of IWD’s wells improved some last month, he added.