Three Antelope Valley water agencies that buy water from the state's aqueduct, are teaming up to form the Antelope Valley State Water Contractor's Association.
The Palmdale Water District's board of directors voted Monday to join the agency, the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency's (AVEK) board did so Tuesday and the Littlerock Creek Irrigation District's board was expected to vote to join Wednesday.
Organizers said the purpose of the group is to develop and protect a water supply for the Antelope Valley groundwater basin. All of its meetings will be subject to the Brown Act, which requires public notice of each gathering.
If Littlerock decides to join, the first meeting of the association will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 10, in the board room of the Palmdale Water District.
Each entity will contribute $10,000 annually to the association for a total yearly budget of $30,000, and each will have two of the association's six board members. Board members will serve two-year terms.
"More than anything, this will help increase communications among the contractors," said Dennis LaMoreaux, general manager of the Palmdale Water District.
Beyond that, LaMoreaux said the association will look for ways to better use the water allotted to the Antelope Valley's three water contractors. He said he expects the group may come up with programs to store unused water underground for future use or as an emergency supply in dry years.
"There is no project proposed yet," LaMoreaux said. "This is the very beginning."
Keith Dyas, vice president of the AVEK board, said the partnership will mean better use of imported water in the Antelope Valley.
"AVEK has a lot of unused entitlement each year," Dyas said. "We could develop projects to use that water."
According to the agency's proposed statement of principles and objectives, it would "facilitate the coordinated development and implementation of plans and programs to satisfy their obligations consistent with their legal authority."
The document gets even more specific in how to do that:
1. To make optimum use of available water supplies to meet current and anticipated demands through the following:
A. Encourage the use of imported water, when and where appropriate.
B. Encourage conservation of local surface water and groundwater.
C. Optimize the use of available surface and subsurface water storage capacity.
D. Identify the most suitable locations for replenishment and storage of available water.
E. Consider all means of groundwater recharge.
2. To confirm that the association will not take away any water rights within the Antelope Valley.
3. To develop plans for maximum cooperative use of available water resources.
4. To establish an equitable means of apportioning the benefit and burdens of water resource management.
5. To prevent the export of native surface water and groundwater from the Antelope Valley and develop reasonable limitations upon the export of any other water from the Antelope Valley.
6. To provide a mechanism for the storage and recovery of water.
7. To encourage the protection and preservation of surface water and groundwater quality.
8. To develop conservation plans to promote reasonable beneficial use of water suppliers in the Antelope Valley.
9. To respect existing jurisdictional authority of the public agencies and water suppliers in the Antelope Valley.
10. To solicit and welcome the advice, counsel and support of interested parties and the public in the implementation of these principles and objectives.
11. To conduct regularly scheduled association meetings to advance these principles and objectives and discuss other matters of common interest.
Each member will still have legal authority to act independently of the other members.
The Palmdale Water District office is at 2029 East Ave. Q.