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Public Comment Sought for Indian Wells Pipeline Project

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Public Comment Sought for Indian Wells Pipeline Project 

Inyo County encourages its constituents to provide input on the Indian Wells Valley  Groundwater Authority’s (IWVGA) water import pipeline project in eastern Kern County. IWVGA  seeks public, trustee, and agency input on potential environmental impacts prior to preparation of an  environmental analysis during the scoping period that started August 1 and ends August 31.

Inyo County is a founding member of the IWVGA, a joint powers authority, and supports the IWVGA  water import pipeline project as it is currently proposed. Inyo County supports the project because it  will help to ensure a reliable source of water supply to the Indian Wells Valley groundwater basin,  which includes Inyo County residents and constituents, while also helping to avoid further stressing  water supplies from the Eastern Sierra Nevada region beyond the effects of Los Angeles Department  of Water and Power water exports. In other words, by establishing a water delivery infrastructure  coming from south of Ridgecrest, the potential for the Indian Wells Valley water users to seek water  from the Owens Valley will likely be greatly diminished.

The IWGWA will be the lead agency for the project under the California Environmental Quality Act  (CEQA) and is hosting two upcoming scoping meetings to gather feedback on how the Imported Water  Pipeline Project may impact the environment.

The meetings will be held in-person with the option for virtual attendance on the following dates:

  • August 22, 2023 

Kerr McGee Community Center

100 W California Ave, Ridgecrest, CA 93555

Zoom Webinar: https://tinyurl.com/rIWVGA

  • August 23, 2023 

Place: Kerr McGee Community Center

100 W California Ave, Ridgecrest, CA 93555

Zoom Webinar: https://tinyurl.com/rIWVGA

  • August 24, 2023 

California City Branch Library

9507 California City Blvd., California City, CA 93505

Zoom Webinar: https://tinyurl.com/calcIWVGA

The project consists of delivering water via a 20- to 24-inch diameter pipeline that starts at existing  water distribution facilities owned and operated by Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency in  California City, to the Indian Wells Valley Water Districts Ridgecrest Heights Water Storage Tank  located 50 miles away. The project is intended to provide what’s known as in-lieu groundwater  recharge to an area determined to be in critical overdraft by the California Department of Water  Resources (CDWR). The essential goal is to reduce groundwater pumping in the overdraft area by  bringing in water from another source and ultimately preserve the Basin’s groundwater resource as a sustainable water supply, continue to provide the residents with quality drinking water, and sustain the  mission of the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station.

The project was included in the Groundwater Sustainability Plan prepared the IWVGA pursuant to the  Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and approved by the CDWR.

The Notice of Preparation of Draft Environmental Impact Report and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting can be found at: https://mcusercontent.com/8441dc03663a1fd11bef710e4/files/843b47fa-a425-c178- a4fa-ad5a575e9379/Final_Notice_of_Preparation.pdf

Comments can also be made in writing via email or regular U.S. Post. All comments should reference  “Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority Imported Water Pipeline Project” and include the name,  email address, phone number, and mailing address of the contact person submitting the comments.  Comments concerning the scope of the EIR can be sent by email to  [email protected] by Aug. 31, 2023. Written comments sent by U.S. Mail and  postmarked on or before Aug. 31, 2023, should be sent to the attention of:

April Keigwin – IWVGA Clerk of the Board of Directors

100 W. California Ave., Ridgecrest, CA. 93555

Phone: (805) 764-5452

or

Dena E. Giacomini, Principal Planner, Environmental Project Manager

Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group

1800 30th Street, Suite 280, Bakersfield, CA 93301

Phone: (661) 616-5900 ext. 721

 

The IWVGA is a local public agency formed in 2016 through execution of a Joint Exercise of Powers  Agreement between the City of Ridgecrest, Indian Wells Valley Water District, County of Kern, County  of Inyo, and County of San Bernardino who serve as the general members of the Board of Directors.  The Bureau of Land Management and the United States Navy, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake  serve as non-voting associate members of the Board of Directors. 

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