Minden water line sets stage for future use | RecordCourier.com

Minden water line sets stage for future use

by Sheila Gardner

Construction of the Sixth Street water line in Minden is more than a big hole in the ground or a pain-in-the-you-know-what to motorists.

To Minden town officials, the project represents a major link in distribution of water throughout Carson Valley.

“What this really represents is the continuing commitment of the town of Minden to exercise its water rights and to put its money where its mouth is to develop infrastructure to serve water throughout the Valley,” said Bruce Scott, Minden’s engineer.

The $250,000 project helps set the stage for Minden to make its water available to any place in Carson Valley.

“A couple of years ago, the county was looking to do a water main connection from the Minden-Gardnerville border north eventually to tie up the Indian Hills and North County area,” Scott said Tuesday. “They were faced with some immediate needs and concerns in the Johnson Lane-Airport-Mountain View Water and Ridgeview areas.

“Basically, the cost of a major transmission line at this point is not something the county felt it could afford,” he said.

Minden, however, is taking advantage of the county’s plans to realign Buckeye Road, to upgrade the water line on Sixth Street to 16 inches.

The construction also proves to state water officials that the town, along with the Gardnerville Town Water Co., is keeping their extensive water rights in good standing.

“Both entities are trying to proactively extend the infrastructure to bring resources to broader and broader parts of the Valley,” Scott said.

The town originally considered a 12-inch water line, but upgraded it to 16 inches to extend its life to 50 years and beyond.

“A 16-inch water main allows us to wheel water from Gardnerville and also to have substantial resources and a good connecting point for Minden and Gardnerville to work together with anybody wanting water,” Scott said. “We’re not trying to push it on anybody. The concept is that it’s available to anybody if you want it.

“This also sends a message to the state engineer that the town is working hard and spending its own money to build infrastructure with a 50-year horizon as opposed to just connecting a link for everything we need, but doesn’t serve anybody else,” Scott said.

“If you look at what two or three connections of existing facilities will do, you can have water all the way from the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District to North Valley,” he said.

State water law has a provision that if certificated water rights aren’t used for five successive years, they are subject to forfeiture.

“Nobody wins if water is lost. It needs to be planned ahead,” Scott said. “To keep water rights in good standing, you need to show good faith investment in the water infrastructure that it can truly deliver Valley-wide distribution of the water,” he said. “This is done with the full approval of the county commission.

“The towns and county are pretty much together on the concept of working toward connections that allow for investments in the public interest to be maximized in efficiency, to be used for the benefit of as many people in the Valley as you can physically get water to,” Scott said.

Work on the water line is expected to take a month, Scott said.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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