January 29, 2015
Newberry Springs Has Large
A Watermaster Workshop on the Baja Subarea turned out to be what
was described as the largest public Watermaster meeting as Newberry Springs residents
filled the hearing room at the Mojave Water Agency in Apple Valley last Wednesday night,
January 28, 2015.
Fueling the turnout are the concerns of the local Newberry Springs
residents over the continued water overdrafting and continued water rampdowns in the Mojave Valley.
The majority of the first hour was dedicated to a review of the
Baja Areawide Sustainability Plan presented by Holly Shiralipour, District Conservationist
of the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Lance Eckhart, Principal
Hydrogeologist with the Mojave Water Agency.
Following the capsule review of the Sustainability Plan, the workshop
was opened for public comment. First to speak was Ellen Johnson, followed by Jeff Gaastra,
president of the newly formed lake owners association. Next to speak was Tim Rohm who
presented a short video showing the principle ski lakes in Newberry Springs and the many benefits
that they provide.
Additional speakers were Bob Delahoussaye, Linda Snively,
Fred Stearn, and finally, Glen Van Dam who spoke on behalf of the large farmers.
At one point, a speaker for the lake owners asked for a showing of hands
in the audiance as to who lives on a lake. Impressively, roughly two-thirds of the people
in attendance claimed lake residency; demonstrating that the approximately 300 people in Newberry
Springs who live on a lake are organizing to address their water concerns.
The Watermaster is a position created by the Riverside Superior Court
that is handling the water adjudication. The Watermaster comprises of the elected board
members of the Mojave Water Agency who are to advise the court and make recommendations on the
The workshop lasted approxiately two hours, fifteen minutes.
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