By the Palmdale Water District
The “once in a thousand years” rain event last Thursday wreaked havoc upon the cities of Palmdale, Quartz Hill, and various neighborhoods throughout the area. The California Aqueduct system located off 70th St. West received a direct hit of mud and debris from the intense rainfall, ultimately blocking a portion [and] creating a makeshift dam.
Water allocations from the Department of Water Resources to agencies within the Antelope Valley have been severely diminished due to the ongoing drought and lack of available supply. Many agencies rely on increased groundwater extraction to meet demands, but there is still some reliance on the State Water Project to service their customers’ needs.
The incident has caused a blockage to the Antelope Valley Eastern Kern Water Agency (AVEK) to draw water to serve the Los Angeles County Water Works (LACWW) customers located on the Westside of Palmdale. With temperatures forecast to rise into the weekend, increased demand is likely. Clean up efforts and repairs to the concrete panels within the system are expected to take weeks, while customer demands remain the priority.
Officials from the Palmdale Water District (PWD), AVEK and LACWW quickly met to strategize on how to ensure clean, healthy water will be available for consumers with no interruption in service. While AVEK is cutoff from receiving water from the State, the PWD will provide up to 3,000,000 gallons per day to satisfy the gap from the storm related water outage.
“In the spirit of cooperation, the PWD will assist our water agency neighbors however we can to ensure that their customers receive safe, treated, potable water to meet their needs,” said Dennis LaMoreaux, General Manager of the Palmdale Water District. “We know that LACWW and AVEK would not hesitate to help us if we needed it.”
The PWD is essentially using water stored for emergency purposes to provide relief to our community residents located within other water agency jurisdictions. This water exchange will not impact PWD customers at all. AVEK will replenish PWD reserves when they are able to.
“The safety and health of families and communities [is] the only priority that matters in the wake of events like the storm we experienced last Thursday,” said Vincent Dino, Director of the Palmdale Water Board. “We are all in this together, and the PWD did not blink an eye when asked to help.”
The Water District is asking the community to continue pushing to conserve water where they can — only water outside on Wednesdays and Saturdays before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
Report water waste or watering at non-designated times by calling 661-456-1099 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information regarding the Palmdale Water District’s watering restrictions, visit www.palmdalewater.org.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The AV Times.