DWR Report, includes SCE option and MR pipeline to Barstow route
State official outlines 6 M WA water supply plans By MARY MARTIN Sun Staff Writer VICTORVILLE Six major water supply alternatives, alternatives, two of which would have Southern California Edison participating, have been presented to Mojave Water Agency directors. The alternatives were established as steps in formulating formulating a general plan for the agency. Paul Ruchlewicz of the California Department of Water Resources included in his presentation an outline of the alternatives and the effect their implementation implementation would have on ground water storage, capital expenditures, operation and maintenance costs involved and expected cost to the taxpayer. Assemblyman Phil Wyman and First District Supervisor Supervisor James Mayf ield were in the audience of approximately approximately 50 persons who attended the meeting. The six alternatives as listed by Ruchlewicz are: Continuing present practices (no imported water). Mojave River and Yucca Valley pipelines. Mojave River and Yucca Valley pipelines with Southern California Edison participating. Artificial recharge of Mojave River channel. Artificial recharge of Mojave River channel and Yucca Valley pipeline. Artificial recharge of Mojave River channel and Yucca Valley pipeline with Edison participating. Ruchlewicz explained there was difficulty in arriving arriving at the alternatives because the MWA covers about 5,000 square miles with 100,000-105,000 100,000-105,000 100,000-105,000 population in a small number of population centers separated by long distances. "That translates into millions of dollars," Ruchlewicz said. The proposed Mojave River pipeline would receive aqueduct water then proceed northerly through Adelanto and around the bend of the river into Barstow. The Yucca Valley pipeline would receive its water from the the aqueduct, north of Lake Silverwood, proceed easterly along the base of the San Bernardino Mountains to Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley then into Yucca Valley. Charts showing present worth costs of each alternative alternative which included ground water and state water project capital and operation and maintenance costs ranged from $39 million to $134.4 million. Ruchlewicz stressed, however, these figures would not be actual costs because inflation was not taken into consideration, but were to be used for comparison purposes only. Also, Ruchlewicz said, cost figures for alternatives which have Edison participating were formulated using the power company's contract (now in litigation) which seeks to purchase 15,000 acre feet of water a year from the aqueduct, with an option for 13,000 additional acre feet a year. However, Edison now proposes to build a peaker power plant in Johnson Valley which would be fueled by a natural gas line and would require purchase of only 2,000 acre feet of water per year. Using as an example a house with an assessed evaluation of $50,000, Ruchlewicz explained that the annual recurring cost to a homeowner would range from $340 to $1,000 in additional taxes. The figures quoted here are "mythical averages, some will pay more and some will pay less," Ruchlewicz said. Ruchlewicz also pointed out that the equivalent tax impacts were based on March 1, 1979 assessments which showed over $591 million in evaluations in the MWA service area and did not take the value of the proposed SCE plant into consideration. The cost of implementing any water program is usually done through taxation, Ruchlewicz said, and the ongoing costs are passed on to the water users. Ruchlewicz said any plan adopted should be flexible and able to be changed and modified as population trends change and new technical advances are made. Supervisor Mayf ield, interviewed after the presentation, presentation, said he had studied all the alternatives previously and favors the alternative for Edison participating because "keeping up the channel and the pipeline to Yucca Valley are predicated on the Edison plant."