The SMART Plan
In 2017, the district completed the Sustainable Management, Affordability, and Reliability for Twentynine Palms Water District (SMART) Plan. The SMART Plan defines challenges in three distinct areas and proposes actionable solutions to protect the district’s water supply, quality, and affordability into the future. Although the information presented in the plan is not new, the creation and implementation of the SMART Plan promotes transparency and accountability throughout district services.
The SMART Plan is designed to identify and combat three major challenges currently facing the district:
Activity: Technical Review and Project Identification- Ongoing through September 2017
Tasks: Contact package plant operators; survey best available technologies; determine outdoor water use potential; determine scope of potential improvements.
Activity: Funding & Financing- Ongoing through September 2017
Tasks: Apply for SWRCB planning grant; negotiate developer funding share; determine potential user fees; project finance plan.
Activity: Outreach & Transparency- April- September 2017
Tasks: Create project information sheet for residents; recruit residents committee; generate project updates and briefings; inform project plans from resulting input; bring final plan to the board for approval.
Activity: Groundwater Data Collection- Ongoing
Task: Conduct survey of private wells in the TPWD relevant sub-basins of Morongo Basin.
Activity: Join Disadvantaged Community Water Systems Working Group- Ongoing
Task: Help in data collection among special districts.
Activity: Determine Range of Cost Impacts- Ongoing
Task: Engage consultant advisor and provide data.
Activity: Determine Milestones Warranting Public Information and Engagement- June & July 2017
Task: Engage in public outreach.
Activity: Determine Additional Legal Advocacy Options Available- Ongoing
Task: Inform the board of potential costs.
Activity: Big-Box Retail Engagement Program- June- September 2017
Tasks: Identify and contact retail store managers; design customer and residential informational campaign.
Activity: Evaporative Cooler Retro-fit or Replacement Incentive Program
Tasks: Contact weather conservation managers in Arizona and Nevada and assess incentive models; recommend options to the Board of Directors.
Activity: Proposition 1 Conservation Grant Funding- March- September 2017
Tasks: Study grants available for conservation programs and prepare applications for consideration by the Board of Directors.
Activity: Engage Community Water Conservation Council (CWCC)
Tasks: Recruit members of the community interested in gardening as well as those with interest in water/energy efficiency; convene meeting and agree on scope of activities.
Activity: Update TPWD’s Water Wise Gardens
Tasks: Engage the CWCC and engage potential partners that may help in the redesign.
An integral piece of the SMART Plan is protecting the water quality in Twentynine Palms.
In 2017, Twentynine Palms Water District and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completed the Arsenic Removal Technology Demonstration Program, a pioneering treatment that cost-effectively removes arsenic from drinking water. The district’s new system will bring drinking water into compliance with the new maximum contaminant levels for arsenic.
The system has been nationally recognized as a cost-saving model for other water agencies, and was the subject of a journal article in the American Water Works Association (AWWA) industry publication.
To read the full article and to learn more about the benefits of the arsenic removal system, click here.