General Manager’s Report
I’m sure you all are concerned about the drought in California and how it affects us here in Blue Lake Springs.
Water Supply for 2015
In the first 3 months of 2015, our usage decreased by 856,000 gallons. That’s water that our well didn’t have to pump, and it shows continued conservation even in the winter and early spring months. In spite of this water savings, the water level in our well is below last year’s level at this time.
2014 – 90 feet above the pump intake
2015 – 76 feet above the pump intake
The well is still recovering, but at a slower rate than last year. This is due to the absence of a significant snowpack for the past three years. We will have less water available for use this year.
We are adding a new well capable of producing at least 50 gallons per minute. We’ve had some delays, but plan on getting the well in by summer this year.
Well #5 is in the planning stage but should be on line next year. This well will produce 50 + gallons per minute.
Wholesale Water Purchase Agreement with CCWD
Negotiations with CCWD are progressing positively, and we are close to an agreement to purchase treated water from CCWD. Looking forward, this is probably our best option for reliable water supply. CCWD surface water and our well water will give us the flexibility to manage our supply based on cost and availability of water if the drought continues for years to come.
UWPA Raw Water Option
We are currently doing a feasibility study on purchasing raw surface water from the Utica Water and Power Authority. If talks breakdown with CCWD, this could be an option for the future. It would involve pumping raw water through a pipeline from Hunters Dam in Avery, up to our Treatment Plant on Blue Lake Springs Drive. We would have to construct the facilities to accomplish this which includes a booster pump, four miles of pipeline and an upgraded Treatment Plant able to treat raw surface water. This would be an expensive project, done over a few years.
Drought Plan Stage 3
Blue Lake Springs Mutual Water is being proactive by initiating Stage 3 of our Drought Plan. We are asking for a 35% reduction of water use. We will compare 2015 usage to 2014 to determine the percentage of reduction. Last year, your diligent conservation efforts, saved 10,000,000 gallons compared to 2013. Our goal this year is 16,000,000 gallons, and I will keep you posted on our progress. All outside watering has been suspended for the time being. We anticipate drought conditions to continue for possibly years to come, and want to maximize our supply, for health and safety uses.
If you haven’t already done so, please turn off your outside irrigation systems. On our website we have posted alternative methods of watering plants that may help those who have outside landscaping.
I will remind you that our field crew has an excellent leak detection program. If you see a possible leak, please report it to our office (795-7025) or the Treatment Plant (795-7030). We have requested that anyone doing pressure washing for maintenance on their cabin to contact our office. We know pressure washing is necessary for some jobs, but we are working with local painting contractors to minimize the use as much as possible.
I know if we all work together, we can mitigate the effects of the drought, so that everyone, homeowners and visitors, can enjoy our beautiful community.
Thanks again for conserving.