Looking for ways on how to dilute its heavily fluoridated water, the Big Bear Community Services District (CSD) heard a proposal from water superintendent Gary Keller on a plan to mix it with Department of Water and Power (DWP) water.
At the same time, Keller and Tim Moran, water department supervisor, have come up with a way to increase water supplies.
Under the proposal Keller asked the district approve a feasibility study on the fluoride plan. A computer model of both systems will be done to see if it will work. The study is expected to cost $3,000 and will be split evenly between CSD and DWP, if approved by DWP.
“As conditions get drier, we have less low-fluoride sources to blend with,” Keller said. “Right now, we are looking at every possible way to stretch our water supply.”
Keller was lauded for his innovative thinking.
“I think it is great that staff is coming up with such great ideas,” said CSD director Barbara Beck.
“I would like to see this happen,” added board president Bob Colven.
If the program comes to pass and is built, the CSD would then be able to collect overflow in the winter, among other benefits of conservation in the exchange.
Critical of the study was audience member Bob Long.
“I would be careful in my dealings with the Department of Water and Power. They are one of the reasons we can’t have a Valleywide system,” he said.
“The whole thing in a nutshell is, we are in a tremendous drought and we need a big meeting on this water issue in the Valley.”
Keller defended the plan, stating Twentynine Palms built a system, but it is not in use.
“It was supposed to start in October 2001, but they haven’t gotten it going. And that is not to take anything away from DWP — this type of thing takes time,” Keller added.
The district voted 5-0 to do the study.