My Turn: We dare ask about water because we need answers
How dare we question the Truckee Donner Public Utility District? How dare we question the district board? How dare we question the Nimbus Report of 2001?
Well, we dare ask questions because six wells in our community have gone dry, and we’re not getting any answers.
The water issue along Prosser Dam Road in Truckee is perhaps only a hint of the problems we as a community may be facing in the not-so-near future. We asked if there would be enough water when the Hopkins Family Trust was talking about developing the ground in the Gray’s Crossing area, and again when East West Partners completed the environmental work for Gray’s Crossing.
We were greatly assured that there was plenty of water for all users for many years to come. Evidently, that answer was incorrect. No one can tell us we have not voiced our opinions over many years.
The Truckee Donner PUD’s water manager, Ed Taylor, has repeatedly told us that we have an impermeable clay layer that separates our aquifer from all the others and that our neighbors are using too much water. The district’s own contract hydro-geologist refutes those statements. Of the new wells on Prosser Dam Road, within the district, none of them have turned up clay, only gravel, rock and sand.
We know the hydro-geologist’s credentials, but still have no clear idea about Mr. Taylor’s credentials. We do know that he attended Kent State University in 1970, but have no idea what his field of study was or if he was graduated from KSU.
The Nimbus Report of 2001, upon which all out town development seems to be based, is, in fact, based on data that is some 30 years old. Some additional data was added, however, it does state on page 14, paragraph 6.1, that none of this data was field checked.
Had I, as a federal employee doing environmental documentation, not field checked data presented to me I would have been sent to the cleaners. There is no discussion of groundwater as it relates to domestic wells within the Town of Truckee, nor any impervious clay layers in the Prosser Dam Road area.
We keep hearing that the ratepayers have to be considered in all matters before the board. And we certainly agree with that. We are ratepayers. Granted, along Prosser Dam Road we use only the electrical portion of the district’s services.
Each member of the Truckee Town Council asked several pertinent questions of the PUD and staff, attempting to get answers for the entire community. They were met with an “how-dare-you-question-us attitude” from some members of the PUD board as well as its president. The town council, the audience at the meeting, and the community at large deserve a public apology.
Development ” past, present and future ” should not cause harm to the people of any community. Somehow this concept was lost at the Nov. 13 PUD meeting. Water is not just an issue for the Prosser Dam Road area, it should be a major concern for our entire community.
We dare to ask because we need answers.
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