PALMDALE — Continuing an ongoing, joint effort to monitor groundwater levels and quality in the Antelope Valley, the Palmdale Water District on Oct. 28, agreed to fund its portion of the costs for the next year.

A group of several Valley water agencies annually contract with the U.S. Geological Survey to perform the monitoring duties, using a series of established wells from various points in order to create a picture of the water levels beneath the ground and the overall water quality.

The Board of Directors voted unanimously to pay the $4,224 for its portion of the annual contract cost.

The monitoring contract is effective from Nov. 1, 2019 to Oct. 31, 2020.

The Palmdale Water District’s participation in the monitoring contract is through the Antelope Valley State Water Contractors Association, a group of three agencies which receive allotments from the State Water Project through the California


In addition to Palmdale Water District, this Association includes the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency and the Littlerock Creek Irrigation District.

Its share of the USGS contract cost is $32,750. That amount is divided amongst the three members according to the amount of State Water Project water each is

entitled to.

Palmdale Water District bears 12.9% of the cost, at $4,224. AVEK is the largest water contractor, with 85.7% of the cost share at $28,066, while Littlerock Creek Irrigation District comes in for $458, or 1.4%.

Joining the association in the USGS total contract cost of $65,500 is the Antelope Valley Integrated Regional Water Management Group and the Antelope Valley Watermaster.

The contractor’s association pays half the contract total cost, with the other two entities each picking up 25%.

The remaining costs of the $98,400 total monitoring program are covered by USGS at $32,900, subject to the availability of federal matching funds, according to the

staff report.

According the contract, the USGS will measure for annual groundwater levels from 170 wells in March 2020, and for semi-annual water levels in August 2020 in 23 wells considered to represent the subunits of the

region’s aquifer.

Water quality monitoring takes samples from one of three well groups, which are rotated every three years. Each group consists of at least seven wells, according to the staff report.

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