A plan to increase water storage capacity could lead to storage of Eastern Sierra water in an area near Ridgecrest.
In 2008, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued a report entitled Securing LAs Water Supply. The report laid out long term plans to meet growth in water demand through conservation, enforcement of water use rules, and other methods. Another portion of the plan would increase the amount of water stored underground to carry the city through dry years and the dry season.
In April of 2009, the Department of Water and Power put out a request for proposals to develop additional groundwater storage. The Indian Wells Valley Water District, which supplies 12,000 customers in the Ridgecrest area, put in a bid.
Tom Mulvihill, the General Manager of the Indian Wells Valley Water District reports that his district appears to be on the short list of possible water bank locations. Mulvihill explained that the Indian Wells proposal spells out that the project would be owned and operated by the Indian Wells Valley Water District. We would store their water for them, he explained, but the operation would be controlled by Indian Wells.
How much water would be pumped underground in the Indian Wells Valley is unknown at this time. Mulvihill says that the size of the project will take years of hydrology” work to determine.
Right now the project is in early stages. Mulvihill explained that the next step is to start negotiations with DWP to see if an agreement can be reached.