Frequently Asked Questions - Mojave Water Agency

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Adjudication?
A: The Adjudication of the Mojave Basin Area was the legal process that allocated the right to produce water from the available natural water supply. Until the Mojave Water Agency initiated the adjudication and an independent Court issued the Judgment,   water production rights and obligations had never been defined in the Mojave Basin. The Court's final decision was reached in January 1996.

Q: Who would normally be bound by the Judgment?
A: Any person or entity producing more than 10 acre-feet of water per year (by well, surface water diversion, or other means) within the drainage areas of the Lucerne Valley Basin, El Mirage Basin, and the Mojave River drainage areas, who are also within   the Mojave Water Agency boundaries, is required to be bound by the terms of the Judgment.

Q: What is Base Annual Production ("BAP") as termed in the Judgment?
A: Base Annual Production is the verified maximum year production, in acre-feet, for each Producer for the five year Period 1986-1990 as set forth in Table B-1 of Exhibit "B", except where otherwise noted therein. The maximum year production for each   Producer was verified based on one or more of the following: flow meter readings, electrical power, natural gas or diesel usage records, or estimated applied water duty. The Base Annual Production for recreational lakes in the Baja Subarea and for Aquaculture   shall be equal either to the area of water surface multiplied by seven acre-feet or to verified production, whichever is less.

Q: What is a Free Production Allowance ("FPA")?

A: A Free Production Allowance is the amount of water a producer can pump in a specific Subarea in one year without incurring a Replacement Obligation.

Q: What are the responsibilities for a water producer that is bound by the Judgment?
A: There are approximately 470 water producers that are bound by the Judgment. Each is required to report their water production to the Watermaster and pay Administrative and Biological assessments on that production on a quarterly basis. Producers are   also subject to Replacement and Make-up water assessments that may be applicable on an annual basis. All producers bound by the Judgment must be in compliance with Section 11 of the Watermaster Rules and Regulations which outlines the methods by which   a producer must monitor their water production.

Q: How do the Producers report their water production to the Watermaster?
A: The Watermaster mails each producer a combination Quarterly Report and Invoice at the end of each quarter (i.e. January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1). The water production report/invoice is due one month after the end of the quarter (i.e. January   31, April 30, July 31 and October 31). The Producers estimate their water production and subsequently calculate the appropriate amount of Administrative and Biological assessments due and return the water production report with payment to the Watermaster.

Q: How does the Watermaster know how much water is being pumped by the Producers?
A: The Watermaster Rules and Regulations require that all water producers have an accurate way of measuring their water production. Annually, the Watermaster verifies the water production of each producer and reports its findings to the Court. The verified   annual production of the water producers is the basis for determining all assessments due to Watermaster for the Water Year.

Q: What are the acceptable methods that a Producer can use to calculate their water production?

A: Section 11 of the Watermaster Rules and Regulations outlines the methods a Producer can use to calculate their water production. In summary they are:
1. A flow measuring device.
2. A combination of electrical records and a pump test performed within two years of the year in which water is being pumped.
3. A combination of electrical records, a current pump test performed within two years of the year in which water is being pumped and a time of use meter.
4. A method approved by Watermaster and certified by a Licensed Engineer.

Q: What happens to water that is not used each year?

A: Water that is not used by a Producer in a Water Year is carried over to the next year. The Watermaster has termed this water "Carryover FPA". Carryover FPA is considered the first water pumped in the current Water Year. Carryover FPA can be transferred   to other producers in the same way as current year FPA can be transferred. The Carryover FPA must be used in the current year, or it will be deemed "expired".

Q: How can a producer transfer un-used water to another producer?
A: By filing the appropriate documents available from the Watermaster and complying with Section 12 of the Rules and Regulations. It is usually best to contact Watermaster staff to verify the amounts of water that are available to transfer.

Q: When I sell my property, how do I transfer the Base Annual Production right to the new owner?
A: Obtain permanent transfer forms from the Watermaster. Verify with Watermaster the Base Annual Production Right that is available to transfer. Comply with Section 12 of the Watermaster Rules and Regulations. The Base Annual Production Right generally   does not have to be sold to the new owner, but if that is the intention, then the transfer should be processed with the Watermaster concurrently with the sale of the property to avoid confusion of ownership and liability for assessments at a later date.   Contact Watermaster staff for further details.

Q: Why is there a ramp down?
A: The Judgment requires that each Producer’s Base Annual Production right be ramped down in order to mitigate the overdraft conditions occurring within the Mojave Basin and provide for a scheduled reduction in pumping with the intent on balancing   water production with the available natural supply and the purchase of supplemental water supply.

Q: When does the Watermaster hold meetings, and can anyone attend?
A: A meeting is usually held on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 4:30 p.m. at the offices of the Mojave Water Agency. The meetings are public and anyone may attend.

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