By Sarah Mouchet
staff writer 

Water District Strategic Plans Review


July 22, 2023

On June 6, the Tehachapi Cummings County Water District held a special board meeting to conduct a bi-annual review of their strategic plans.

For 11 years TCCWD has won awards for fiscal responsibility and stellar financial reporting, which is done in-house to conserve funds. Reviewing their strategic plans every two years is a vital component of TCCWD's continuing budgeting success.

Although there has been a trending decrease in state funding allocations, TCCWD's funds remain quite healthy. Tehachapi's pipes are in good shape, reservoirs are full and TCCWD has a reserve of backup equipment ready with plenty of funding for maintenance and upgrades.

Tehachapi's water pipes, which were built in the late 1960s, are now over 50 years old. Despite their age there have only been six major breaks since the system's construction. According to a survey TCCWD conducted this year on the system's weakest spots, the pipes should last at least another 50-75 years.

Despite the system's excellent condition TCCWD stays on top of maintenance, repairs and upgrades to ensure the pipes last as long as possible.

On June 8, the National Weather Service declared that the predicted El Niño has officially arrived and is expected to last into winter, which bodes quite well for Tehachapi's water reserves.

From 2022's El Niño, Tehachapi's lakes and reservoirs are full to the brim and TCCWD is currently experimenting with different ways to bank excess water.

Several agriculture businesses in the Tehachapi-Cummings area are already banking water for TCCWD, including Revol Farms. TCCWD has also purchased land in Cummings to build a large storage well that can be filled in wet years and accessed during times of drought.

During the review, District General Manager Tom Neisler highlighted not only TCCWD's healthy funds but also their healthy workforce.

TCCWD has created many jobs for the community over the years as new challenges arise within the district that require new positions. This inspired an in-depth discussion among board members about how they can best support cross-training and upwards mobility for their current workforce.

While some programs are already in place, several board members expressed an explicit desire to help these programs in any way possible so that employees can continue to benefit and grow while working for TCCWD.

TCCWD continues to focus on bettering the community of Tehachapi, inside and out.


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