Ed Ehmann introduced the WAC (Water Advisory Committee) members. Will Koger of Forsgren Associates, the company tasked with performing the study, introduced his project manager; he also stated that this study would be completed by August 2017.
Purpose of tonight's meeting was to provide a very general overview/outline of what Forsgren will be doing.
Background and Development - began with BOCC looking at water needs; 2 pronged approach: well monitoring and water availability
Work Progress to Date - planning projections for population growth; water demands for 2035 and 2050; aquifer development and hydrology; broke county down into 3 study areas - NW, unincorporated around Elizabeth and Kiowa, and eastern part of county near Limon (whole county is a study area); projecting 68,375 people in EC by 2050; other water demands: commercial, industrial, livestock, agricultural, oil and gas
Existing Water Supply - went through data gathering - with WAC's assistance; listed several recent groundwater studies including the ongoing USGS well monitoring program
Future Water Requirements - work is underway on future drawdown conditions; identify future needs (gap analysis)
Water Resource Options - will identify options to meet future needs
Cost Benefit Analysis - develop cost estimates and funding scenarios
Opportunities and Challenges - identify recommended water policies, summarize water demands for various growth scenarios, develop milestones and timelines
- Currently have what they need for data; periodic RFI's anticipated
- 5 month status report in March; workshop #2 in April
- Evaluation of renewable options: reuse, storage, regional initiatives and projects, aquifer storage and recovery (recharge), water efficiency measures
Questions from public:
1) Is the county looking at demands from outside the county? No, but they are aware of the drawdown effects of the west side of EC.
2) Are they looking at ranchers who are irrigating crops? Will be considered as part of study.
3) Does growth or supply drive the study? Too soon in the study to know the answer. Water managers don't decide on growth issues - community does.
4) Asked about current well monitoring - they do have that data; information is online. So far water levels appear fairly stable - some levels up and some down. Still a very short period of time for the monitoring to be able to determine trends.
5) Who is Forsgren? Work on water supply, treatment, and wastewater. Selected by county through a proposal process. Only company working on this particular study.
6) How accurate are projections? Using DOLA figures; will tweak every 5 years and adjust as necessary.
7) Static water levels? Have seasonal variations. Best kind of data is monitoring over a period of years, the longer the better.
8) Pumping water out of county? Will this study be involved with that? A difficult political issue that would have to go through the 1041 process.
9) Can this be put on county website? Now is not an appropriate time. It will be put up at the end of the study.
10) March 31 staff report on website? Ed Ehmann said he will decide if it can be put on website.