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Water authority meets Tuesday

by Sheila Gardner

Carson Valley’s water providers are invited to a meeting Tuesday to look at options for a regional water distribution system.

Ed James, general manager of the Carson Water Subconservancy District, asked the Carson Valley Water Authority for a spot on the agenda to discuss the subconservancy district’s efforts toward establishing a regional water system.

“I look to the water authority as an avenue to reach everyone out there,” James said. “We’re preparing requests for proposals and we want to be sure we’re meeting the needs of the area.”

One concept under discussion is a regional pipeline which would connect water systems from Douglas County all the way to Lyon County.

“We’re doing a study to look at the feasibility of that,” James said. “According to all studies, in the future we’re going to go to surface water because we’re going to exceed groundwater supplies. It’s going to be a very expensive operation. The feasibility of it may be that it turns out not to be feasible. It may be more realistic to put small treatment plants up and down the river.

“Historically, in my experience, larger, more regional treatment plants are more cost effective,” James said. “But on the Carson River, you are looking at large distances and water rights. Another purpose of the study is that after we figure out what projects we want, we can go to the federal government for money.”

James said the regionalization project also is being driven by a possible change in federal mandates regarding acceptable levels of arsenic in water.

“Right now, the acceptable level is 50 parts per billion. The talk is it might be lowered to 10 parts per billion. That may accelerate the need for a study,” James said.

At low levels, arsenic is a natural occurring element in the Carson River.

The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. at the CVIC Hall in Minden. Letters have been sent to the Minden and Gardnerville town boards, the Gardnerville Town Water Co., Douglas County, and the general improvement districts. The meeting is open to the public.