The city of Port Hueneme agreed Wednesday to contribute $31,500 to a water pipeline study to make sure the city receives its rightful share of any state water piped to Ventura County.
The United Water Conservation District, acting as the lead agency for communities it supplies with water, asked Port Hueneme and other cities and agencies to contribute to the study. It will examine the environmental impact of building a proposed pipeline and explore other ways to tap into the state water system.
So far, the cities of Santa Paula and Fillmore have agreed to help finance the $300,000 environmental study undertaken by Casitas Municipal Water District and the city of Ventura. Casitas and Ventura have sought to spread around the cost of the extensive study.
Port Hueneme officials agreed to take part in the project’s development to keep their claim to the city’s annual state water allotment of 2,100 acre-feet, said Jack Duffy, the city’s public works director. An acre-foot of water is what a typical family of four uses in one year.
Over the years, the City Council has supported studying ways to import state water to improve the quality and quantity of the city’s water supply, Councilman Dorill Wright said.
Another alternative under consideration is attaching the city to the Metropolitan Water District. Such a move could cost Port Hueneme $5 million to $7 million, excluding the cost of any water delivered.
Dick Velthoen, Port Hueneme’s city manager, said the city’s share of the proposed pipeline costs could be $20 million to $23 million. Once the city knows firm costs for each project, the City Council will choose which option could most efficiently get the city its needed water, Wright said. Either alternative is going to be expensive but will improve the city’s water quality by blending cleaner state water with area ground water, city officials said.