RCSD's water supply comes from local groundwater and imported water from Antelope Valley East Kern Water Agency (AVEK). AVEK is one of 29 State Water Contractors for the importation of water from the State Water Project (SWP).
The groundwater basin from which RCSD obtains its water has been going through a legal process to establish the rights of those users who draw water from the basin. Due to this outstanding dispute, continuing drought conditions and new development within RCSD's service area, the proposed capital program includes a project to produce recycled water for non potable uses and groundwater recharge. The drought, coupled with environmental restrictions to protect the Delta Smelt, has also reduced the availability of imported water.
Water banking is essentially the putting of excess water in underground aquifers for the needs of the future. Just as one would bank their extra funds for a future need, so the District is 'banking' our excess supply for the future.
Groundwater banking is one element of RCSD's plan to provide a reliable water supply. On July 28, 2008, RCSD entered into an agreement with the Semitropic Rosamond Water Bank Authority that provided the District a "First Priority Right" to specific interests in the Stored water Recovery Unit of the Semitropic Water Bank (SWRU), and rights in the Antelope Valley Water Bank ("AVWB") in the northwestern part of the Antelope Valley in Kern County for Delivery, Storage, and Recovery and Return Capacity.
The ability to store water during times of surplus will provide additional assurance of a consistent water supply to Rosamond. A reliable water supply is critical to Rosamond's service area, and the water bank is one element of RCSD's plan to address that requirement.
Currently, RCSD sells 3,700 AF of water to its customers each year (1 acre foot [AF] = 325,830 gallons). It has been projected that this demand could double by the year 2020.
RCSD currently serves close to 5,000 households and businesses. A single family home uses approximately 0.5 AF to 1 AF annually, depending upon landscaping area and use of water for cooling.