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Acquiring water reduces reliance on leased water market
Apple Valley Ranchos Water Co. is taking steps to increase the reliability of future water supply for its customers by acquiring 280 acre-ft of water rights for approximately $1.3 million. One acre-ft of water is about 326,000 gal. On average, 1 acre-ft of water can supply two households, with about three to four people in each residence, for an entire year. Ranchos Water Co. currently supplies customers and other users in Apple Valley with more than 12,000 acre-ft of water annually.
Ranchos Vice President and General Manager, Scott Weldy, said investing in water rights means less dependence on the leased water market and less exposure to likely future increases in the cost of leased water rights.
Including this acquisition, Ranchos Water Co. has more than 13,600 acre-ft of water rights. However, due to limitations established under the Mojave Basin Adjudication, which is designed to prevent over pumping the basin, Ranchos can only pump 60% of these water rights—about 8,000 acre-ft. Ranchos is required to lease amounts pumped in excess of that from other owners of water rights.
"The people who live in Apple Valley are mindful of desert living and limited water resources," said Weldy. "They do a great job of conserving water because of this. The bottom line is that the majority of our customers embrace a sustainable approach to water consumption."
Ranchos Water Co. provides ongoing indoor and outdoor water efficiency education, and outreach programs related to conservation and use. Ranchos Water Co. notes since 2007 residential customers reduced their annual average consumption of water by about 30 percent.