At last week’s Fern Valley Water District board meeting, General Manager Victor Jimenez reported that water conditions were

New Fern Valley Water District sign.  Photo by Marshall Smith
Photo by Marshall Smith

stable. While creek flow has declined in October, he relied on wells for a larger portion of the district’s water source.

“The well levels have moved very little, which is great,” Jimenez said. “There is no [water] issue. Everything is moving very smoothly.”

President James Rees asked if the water resources would remain stable if the drought were to continue into the summer of 2017.

“We’re in good shape,” Jimenez replied. “If the creek were to dry up, we would use our wells more. But we’re only using a fraction of our well water. If we were to use the wells more, it will be more expensive to produce water because of the pumping costs.”

In October, the wells supplied about 43 percent of the water, which is about 2.5 percent more than last year.

During the September and October billing period, FVWD customers used 5.9 million gallons, which is 4.7 percent greater than the 5.6 million used during September and October 2015.

The consumption this period is about 33 percent less than in the July and August billing period. Jimenez attributed the reduction to lower temperatures and less irrigation in the district.

Since January, Fern Valley consumption has been 28.3 million gallons, which is 2 million gallons or 7.7 percent more than the first eight months of 2015.

Compared to 2015, water production in 2016 has increased in all three Hill water districts. Idyllwild Water District has had a 10.5 percent increase, but still less consumption than in 2014 or 2013.

Pine Cove Water customers have used 27.3 million gallons, which is about 370,000 more gallons or 1.4 percent more than last year, but also less than the two prior years.