BWD Board to Consider Water Supply Policy
Last updated 10/12/2022 at 12:47pm
Following months of preparation, Board discussion and implementation of a Pilot Program, the BWD Board will be considering extending its Policy to supply water for those developments using less than one acre foot (325,851 gal/yr). The Board is considering such a Program primarily due to the fact that a water market has not been developed yet to allow for small residential and commercial development to continue. In the future, willing buyers and sellers will be able to negotiate transactions to accommodate the need. However without such a Program, is it likely that all small development would stop and the Board would like to prevent that if possible.
The new Program will run thru 2025 and mirrors the fundamentals of BWDs former Water Credit Program, where any new development had to pay for fallowing of four gallons for every gallon of permanent water use. When proof was provided that the water has been conserved thru fallowing, new water meters were installed. Under the terms of the new Program, BWD will be selling a portion of its water allocation (Baseline Pumping Allocation) to new development at the price calculated by staff to include all associated costs. These funds will be set aside and used to purchase additional water supply in the future.
Up to 72 acre feet of water would be available under the Program. BWD currently pumps approximately 1,550 acre feet per year and must purchase almost 1,000 acre feet before 2040 to meet the pumping rampdown of 75% needed for the Basin to become sustainable (inflow=outflow). Under a Pilot Program operated by BWD, six acre feet of water was sold primarily to individual single family residences and the HeliPort at Borrego Health. Demand for water supply has slowed down in the past few months, but if approved by the Board, a system will be in place for those who desire to build a new house or bring a small business to Borrego Springs.