By Nolan Patrick Smith
High Desert Daily
(Apple Valley) – The Governing Board of the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District – responsible for the second largest air district out of 35 – awarded Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company for environmental stewardship and sustainability by implementing innovative, resource-efficient projects that reduced air pollution emissions within the area leading to cleaner, better air-quality in the high desert.
The Exemplar Awards recognize High Desert entities that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to clean air through the development of voluntary activities/projects that reduce or prevent air pollution within the MDAQMD’s jurisdiction, which encompasses San Bernardino County’s High Desert and Riverside County’s Palo Verde Valley. The Exemplar Awards are presented annually in association with National Pollution Prevention Week.
In recent years, Ranchos installed remote monitoring equipment at its 39 production sites, thus eliminating two system operator trips per week to each well, reservoir and booster station. As a result, Ranchos eliminated over 8,500 annual company vehicle miles associated with vehicle emissions by driving less. Along with implementing new technologies and reducing vehicle emissions, Ranchos promotes a robust water conservation program and educational outreach.
“The significance for Ranchos being recognized for sustainable efforts as it relates to reducing greenhouse gases through our progressive water conservation efforts takes us all in the right direction,” said Scott Weldy, Ranchos General Manager. “Pumping less water reduces the use of energy therefore reducing greenhouse gases and the amount of energy to pump water.”
Cash for Grass, a program managed by Ranchos and funded by Mojave Water Agency, provides cash incentives to customers who replace turf with desert friendly plants to help people navigate conservation. The Air Quality Management District offers an air quality component to Cash for Grass qualified residents with a $50 dollar gift card to those who retire gas-powered mower after removing turf. The air quality agency suggests that although the lawnmower program is new, they anticipate emission reductions from it.
“One of the components of the reduction of greenhouse gases is the reduction in the amount of energy consumed to pump water,” said Weldy. “A couple of things have improved that. Conservation by the residents of Apple Valley is paramount in the reduction in energy consumption. Our average customer consumption has dropped from nearly 300 units a year on average to just over 200 units a year on average. So that’s been a tremendous conservation efforts by the residents of the Town of Apple Valley.”
Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company is known for delivering reliable, quality water service to about 63,000 people, in the Town of Apple Valley and parts of San Bernardino County. Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company is a subsidiary of Park Water Company, based in Los Angeles County, which provides contracted and regulated water utility services. In addition to Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company, Park Water Company owns Mountain Water Company, which serves Missoula, MT. Park Water Company and its subsidiaries provide safe, reliable drinking water service to approximately 300,000 people.