By Mary-Justine Lanyon
Water consumption by customers of the Lake Arrowhead Community Services District was down by 9 percent when comparing August 2023 to August 2022.
That was the report from Operations Manager Matt Brooks at the Sept. 26 LACSD board meeting.
He also reported that, through the first eight months of 2023, consumption was down 6.4 percent when compared to 2022: 826.50 acre-feet as compared to 882.72 af.
It stands to reason, then, that the lake draw was also down. The August 2023 draw was 122.67 af versus 156.36 af in August 2022. And comparing the first eight months of the two years, the draw was 650.26 af in 2023 and 713.33 af in 2022.
Well production has been up this year, Brooks told the directors. “We should continue to see that,” he said. One well that had been offline is back on.
He also reported that water delivery to the Lake Arrowhead Country Club “is way down over previous years. I went back 10 years,” Brooks said. “The average was 234 af a year; we’re now at 119 af.” He added they can anticipate delivering 25 to 65 af by the end of the year.
He speculated this drop in water delivery had to do with the late start to the summer. “We didn’t start delivering water until mid-June.”
When President John Wurm asked if delivering less recycled water reduced LACSD’s cost, General Manager Catherine Cerri said it could reduce their electricity cost as they would not be pumping the water, although they would still be treating it.
In her report to the board, Cerri said it is clear there has been lower water consumption statewide.
An article published in California Globe states that new data released by the California State Water Resources Control Board shows a sharp decline in residential water use in the first half of 2023.
Jack Wesley, a water systems consultant, is quoted as saying, “Keep in mind that the numbers aren’t telling the full story. Water usage is way down in large part because people didn’t have to put on the sprinklers for much of the year.” That, of course, was due to the series of atmospheric rivers that brought rain and snow to the state.
Cerri told that board that “this is the first time I can see in our records that the lake was overflowing in August. We sample 10 creeks every month. This was the first August sampling when all 10 were still running.”
Brooks was proud to tell the board that he had sent a team to participate in a California Water Environment Association fair in Crestline. “We took first place as a team of three setting up a confined space entry,” he said. “Our team made everyone else look like they were operating in slow motion.”
His team had just done a confined space entry the week before so “they made it look like just another day.”