Lake Hemet’s lake level when full is 135 feet, according to Lake Hemet Municipal Water District (LHMWD) General Mike Gow in his report to directors at the board meeting last Thursday. The report stated that when the lake is half full, the level is 118 feet. As of July 26, he wrote, the level is only 120.5 feet.
LHMWD is purchasing raw, imported water from Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD), well 17 and groundwater banked through the Hemet-San Jacinto Watermaster from associated wells for irrigation demand in the farm areas of Valle Vista. According to EMWD’s website, “The Hemet San Jacinto Watermaster (Watermaster) is a judicial creation of the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of Riverside through the Stipulated Judgment entered on April 18, 2013 (Riverside County Superior Court Case No. RIC 1207274). The Stipulated Judgment declares individual rights of Eastern Municipal Water District (Eastern), Lake Hemet Municipal Water District (Lake Hemet), City of Hemet (Hemet), City of San Jacinto (San Jacinto) and other private groundwater pumpers to Groundwater in the Canyon Subbasin, the San Jacinto Upper Pressure Subbasin downstream to Bridge Street and the Hemet Subbasin …
“The Watermaster, established by the Stipulated Judgment, is a board composed of one elected official and one alternate selected by each of the Public Agencies and one Private Pumper representative and one alternate selected by the participating Private Pumpers.”
Gow reported that lake water releases “will not begin until early fall when supplies are expected to be at their lowest levels.”
LHMWD is installing above-ground tanks at about $8,000. Removing existing underground tanks will cost $109,000.
Also in his report, Gow wrote that the Association of California Water Agencies has filed a letter with the California Supreme Court asking it to review a case that would define bees as fish under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).
He wrote, “Fish are eligible for listing under CESA, and Fish and Game Code Section 45 defines fish as ‘a wild fish, mollusk crustacean, invertebrate [which includes bees], amphibian, or part, spawn, or ovum of any of those animals …’”
The reason he brought this up was because he said this would “… ultimately result in increased regulatory requirements and compliance costs for water agencies.”