Friday, December 20, 2013

Bellevue plans for water-use future

City gets advice about conjunctive management


By CHRISTINE COLBERT

A consultant told Bellevue city officials this week that the city should use water from its spring source for warm-weather irrigation. Express file photo

    The Bellevue City Council got some advice on Monday on how best to prepare for conjunctive management of water in Blaine County. The new form of management by the Idaho Department of Water Resources will govern surface water and groundwater rights collectively, not separately.
    The council heard a presentation from Christian Petrich of SPF Water Engineering. In anticipation of the new form water rights administration coming to the county in the next few years, Petrich offered recommendations and possible strategies for managing Bellevue’s water distribution.
    SPF analyzed the city’s current models of water use impact, and found Bellevue’s domestic water consumption to be fairly modest, with an annual spike in irrigation use. Much of the water supplied to the city of Bellevue comes from the Seamon’s Gulch spring, as well as the city’s Chantrelle and Chestnut wells. Petrich said that once conjunctive administration becomes active, possible curtailment of water resources could affect the amount of water pumped from the Chantrelle and Chestnut wells for junior-priority rights.
    Petrich made various suggestions for possible conjunctive administration strategies, emphasizing the use of the senior-priority spring right from Seamon’s Gulch. He recommended that the City Council discover whether or not the spring water is being used to its maximum potential, a resource that could possibly ease future curtailment.
    “In the summertime you want to be sure that all of your spring use is going to irrigation, and that the wells are providing for the domestic use,” said Petrich. “I think it’s important to begin thinking about what sources you’re using at what time.”
    Petrich recommended compiling and updating Bellevue’s water usage data, in order to develop a water-use plan for the area.
    “The more data that you have, the better platform to begin working from,” he said. “What will your mitigation strategies be? Will you be trying to meet a short-term mitigation requirement or a long-term requirement?”
    Petrich also suggested exploring water recharge options, as well as participation in possible regional solutions as part of the city’s conjunctive administration efforts. He encouraged the council to work with Hailey and other surrounding communities in creating a unified model for conjunctive management.
    The council was responsive to the idea of maximizing the use of the Seamon’s Gulch spring and making sure that Bellevue’s collection areas are being utilized effectively. Further assessments will be conducted with the local springs and wells, and compared with water-usage data.
    “We’ve got time to get the right thing done and be prepared,” said Craig Eckles, the city’s development services director. “We’re going to look at our collection areas and see how we can make them better.”
    SPF Water Engineering is an Idaho-based water and hydro-geologic consulting firm. SPF has provided water resource engineering and consulting services in the area for more than 15 years.




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



-->
 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2014 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.