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DROUGHT SOLUTIONS CONSIDERED.

Byline: Jim Skeen Staff Writer

LANCASTER - While dealing with this year's shortage of water flowing down the California Aqueduct, Antelope Valley agencies are looking for ways to ensure more reliable supplies for use in dry times.

Among the ideas are creating a reservoir near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, injecting water into the ground during wet years, and buying out State Water Project rights held by Central California farmers.

The reservoir idea, which could cost $40 million and is at least 10 to 20 years away from being a reality, would involve building a dam between Fairmont and Antelope buttes, creating a 31,000-acre-foot reservoir between 150th and 160th streets west and Avenues E and G.

``In wet years we have more water than we need, and we send it back to the state,'' said Keith Dyas, vice president of the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency. ``We have no surface storage.''

The reservoir could be a hedge against future water shortages. The reservoir also could be used for recreation and power generation, officials said.

AVEK is spending $35,000 for preliminary engineering work that will include a ``fatal flaw'' analysis of the project to see whether there are major problems that would stop the dam from being built.

One of the issues that would have to be looked at is the archeological significance of the area. The area around Fairmont Butte is known to have Indian artifacts, and archeology students have held digs there as part of their class work.

Los Angeles County Waterworks officials are looking at the idea of injecting water into the underground water table during wet years and pumping it back during drought conditions. The county conducted pilot projects looking at the feasibility of such a program between 1995 to 1999.

``Everything worked out and it looks positive,'' said Brian Hooper, assistant deputy director of county waterworks and sewers.

The water would be pumped down through county wells located in an area between avenues K-8 and M and between 10th Street West and 10th Street East.

The county is looking at storing about 3,000 acre-feet of water, Hooper said.

An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons, or enough to supply an average-size Antelope Valley family for a year.

The county is conducting an environmental impact report for the project and hopes to have that completed by January.

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Map:

Possible reservoir site
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 18, 2001
Words:399
Previous Article:SHORTAGE OF WATER LOOMING REGION URGED TO CONSERVE.
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