Water delivered to HDWD customers comes from groundwater and is supplied from two basins, the Warren Valley Basin located in the heart of Yucca Valley running west to east and the Ames Basin located in the northern part of the District.
Protecting the Warren Valley Groundwater Basin
The main source of water supply for HDWD’s service area is the Warren Valley Groundwater Basin, which spans about 27 square miles below the Town of Yucca Valley and the surrounding area. This valuable resource provides one of the least expensive water sources available and is more dependable than imported water supplies in times of drought.
In the 1950s, as Yucca Valley’s population ballooned, more water was being taken out of the basin than was being replaced naturally through runoff and rainfall. Experts warned that the supply would become depleted if steps were not taken to stop the overdraft and in 1976 HDWD took legal action to have withdrawals from the basin regulated.
A 1977 San Bernardino County Superior Court judgment (“Warren Valley Judgment”) established rights to extract groundwater from the basin by water rights holders, including HDWD, the Yucca Water Company (which was acquired by HDWD in 1990), Blue Skies Country Club, the Institute of Mentalphysics, and 16 minimal pumpers.
The court appointed HDWD, the majority water rights holder in the basin, as Watermaster to administer and enforce the judgment and develop a means of bringing additional water to the basin.
The main component of the solution to overdraft ordered in the judgment is the 71-mile Morongo Basin Pipeline, extending from the California Aqueduct near Hesperia to the Yucca Valley area. Water deliveries via the pipeline to HDWD percolation ponds began in 1995.
As Watermaster, HDWD performs a variety of monitoring and other management activities, including levying groundwater production assessments; groundwater monitoring; maintaining a basin-wide water quality protection plan; implementing the basin management plan; establishing and administering groundwater storage agreements; and overseeing and approving all exchanges, purchases, transfers, sales, or leases of water.
The eight-member Watermaster Board of Directors consists of the five members of the HDWD Board of Directors and one non-voting representative each from Blue Skies Country Club, the Institute of Mentalphysics and the group of 16 minimal producers.
The Watermaster Board meets twice per year, on the first Tuesday of June and December at 4:30 p.m., at HDWD, 55439 29 Palms Highway in Yucca Valley.
To find out more about the Warren Valley Basin Watermaster, please contact the Hi-Desert Water District at 760.365.8333 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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