PALMDALE — The Palmdale Water District is seeking up to $2 million in federal grant funding to design and construct two new wells.

The District Board of Directors, on Monday, approved an application to the US Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART program for the grant for Fiscal Year 2022-2023, under the program’s drought resiliency projects.

The District is seeking funding for two wells to provide redundancy for its capacity for pumping groundwater, which becomes a more significant source of water during droughts, when supplies of State Water Project water carried through the California Aqueduct are low. As such, both wells qualify under the drought resiliency category, Engineering Manager Scott Rogers said.

The District currently has seven wells that will not be rehabilitated and will be run to the point of failure before taken out of production, according to the staff report.

These wells, taken together, can supply approximately 1,800 acre-feet of water per year, if run for 12 hours daily. An acre-foot is 325,851 gal­lons.

Because any of these wells may fail at any time, creating pumping capacity to make up for that loss is important to the overall water supply, according to the staff report.

About half of the District’s water supply is from the State Water Project, which carries water from Northern to Southern California. The District’s portion of this water is held in Lake Palmdale before being treated at the adjacent Leslie O. Carter Water Treatment Plant.

Due to the historic, ongoing drought, those water supplies have been severely curtailed in recent years, with the District receiving 20% of the authorized allocation in 2020, 5% last year and 5% this year, an unprecedented run of low water supplies, according to District officials.

The District also has some water supply from the Littlerock Dam reservoir, which is fed by the surrounding San Gabriel Mountains watershed.

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