March 31, 2008

Lucerne Valley may face repeat water crisis

Melven Ashley of Lucerne Valley works on installing a water pump on a 55-gallon barrel so that he can transport water back to his property near Cody Road in Lucerne Valley last summer.

Victorville Daily Press

LUCERNE VALLEY — The community could face a repeat of the water crisis from August 2007, a county official warned during the last meeting of the Municipal Advisory Committee board meeting.

State officials once again have Lucerne Valley water purveyors and water haulers on their radar, said Michael Orme, District Director for 1st Disrict Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, who covers Lucerne Valley.

“Every water hauler must be licensed or the state will come back,” Orme said. “Consider yourselves warned.”

The 300 locals who are using hauled water have had time to come into compliance, and have been offered hauling services from three local companies, and there is one local purveyor with a temporary license, though he said he has sold next to nothing.

Orme believes the state board has plans to return, because they were tipped off that many people in Lucerne Valley choose to ignore the licensing requirements, opting instead to use whoever provides service the cheapest.

One local resident asked Orme whether there was a way to ward off a potential sequel to last year.

“Solutions? Yes, go to a licensed provider,” Orme said.

No time frame has been given for when the state officials might return, but the point of Orme bringing the issue up at the MAC meeting was so that everyone has time to come into compliance.