How’s the state of the groundwater in Twentynine Palms? Compared to Yucca Valley, pretty good. But it’s not too early to plan for the future. That’s what two Twentynine Palms governing bodies heard from consultants Wednesday evening. Dan Stork expands on the presentation…
In a joint workshop meeting Wednesday, the Twentynine Palms City Council and Water District heard a presentation on Groundwater Protection and Wastewater Management from the consulting firm Kennedy Jenks. The report addressed regulatory constraints, the quality of the local water supply, and future strategies for dealing with these areas. Points made during the evening included:
• Relative to the Twentynine Palms area, Yucca Valley has less favorable geology for groundwater, and its recharge plan led to elevated nitrate levels.
• Twentynine Palms nitrate levels are well below maximum contaminant levels, and have been relatively stable for 50 years.
• Assuming a build-out population of 111,000 (which most regard as an extreme over-projection), the cost of capital improvements to support a centralized water treatment system is estimated at $290 million.
• There is no hard and fast requirement for an appropriate type of water treatment for a given locality; the driving factors are complex: development density, the maintenance and repair state of septic systems, local geology, and much more.
• During the next five years, localities must develop and put into place Local Agency Management Plans, approved by the State Water Resources Control Board.
• More detailed monitoring and analysis of water supplies is needed to support planning.
• The City and the Water District need to discuss how to share ongoing responsibility and authority for planning and engineering of groundwater management and wastewater treatment.
• Public education on the maintenance and repair of septic systems is an ongoing necessity.
A joint task force of the City and Water District will work with the consultants to tweak the draft report, before submitting it to the Colorado Regional Water Quality Control Board.