GDPUD drought workshop attracts crowd

By From page A12 | March 28, 2014

A special board meeting and workshop of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District may not have settled much, but it did attract a large and engaged audience of around 100 people with most of them being there to find out how the drought might affect their irrigation water.

On the agenda at the March 25 meeting was only one action item: namely how to integrate the district’s 2007 Drought Plan with its Urban Water Management Plan.

The latter plan had previously been adopted by the board but the former had not. The board ended up deciding not to adopt the Drought Plan due to inconsistencies between it and the Urban Water Management Plan. A second consideration was that the Urban Water Management Plan had already been submitted and accepted by the State Department of Water Resources.

Interim General Manager Gary Hoffmann did have some good news for the board and the audience when he reported that the Stumpy Meadows Reservoir was at slightly over 15,000 acre feet when measured that day. That was 1,100 feet more than when it was measured on Feb. 27.

The district’s drought plan kicks in when the water level, as measured in April, is at or below 17,000 acre-feet.

Hoffmann said staff would now be making weekly, rather than monthly, measurements of the reservoir level, with the results posted on the district’s Website. He also said that weather forecasts for April are for seven days of measurable rain.

The workshop then proceeded with residents offering different ideas on how to minimize the impact of potential water cutbacks — particularly to irrigation customers.

Depending on the water level of the reservoir by the board’s next regular meeting on April 8, it will consider one or more resolutions affecting people’s water use. Hoffmann said a resolution affecting irrigation users would definitely be on the April agenda.

Hoffmann said the district is also continuing to work with the El Dorado Water Agency on a temporary emergency change petition with the state water board that would allow them to store 2 cubic-feet-per-second of water they now have to divert.

The board continued to emphasize the need for domestic water users to voluntarily cut back on water use by 20 percent.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Dawn Hodson

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