Truckee utility eyes water under airport |

Truckee utility eyes water under airport

In an effort to maintain the balance between water demands and population growth, Truckee’s utility district is considering drilling wells on property owned by the Truckee Tahoe Airport.

“We’re still in the preliminary stages,” said Ed Taylor, the utility’s water manager. “We’re looking at the trend of development to stay ahead of the curve.”

The Truckee Donner Public Utility District has been studying possible drilling sites around town, and Taylor said the airport parcel has the potential to produce a significant amount of water.

“We’re looking at wells that have the best cost-benefit ratio,” he said.

Taylor said discussions to drill the wells are not a result of the controversy over dry wells at Prosser Dam Road last summer.

“What we’re trying to do is put together a long-range source for maximum buildout,” he said. “We always have to have some sort of reserve capacity.”

Dave Gotschall, the airport’s general manager, said the idea seems logical based on the airport’s location.

“The airport sits on a huge underground reservoir, so it makes sense,” Gotschall said.

The drills would be located primarily on the north side of the airport, and consequently would not disrupt airport traffic. The airport may even benefit from the drilling process, Gotschall said.

“If they pull up the ground, we could put in a conduit while the trench is open, which would save us money,” he said. “But these are just plans, nothing is set in stone.”

Although the utility district currently owns a well on airport property, Gotschall said the airport is not looking to sell any more land, and would only lease the proposed sites.

“This would be for the benefit of the larger community,” Gotschall said. “The ball is in their court now.”

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