Water use down for Minden utility
May 9, 2017
Maybe it's conservation, maybe it's just the wet year, but Minden's wholesale water system pumped its lowest amount ever during the past year.
Town Manager Jenifer Davidson said the town pumped only 1,200 acre feet of water, down from its usual 1,500-1,700 acre feet.
The town wholesales water to Douglas County, Carson City and Indian Hills, in addition to its own residents. The town's residential retail customers pay the same wholesale rates as the other three communities.
"We're noticing with our wholesale customers that pumping numbers are down," Davidson told county commissioners during the town's budget hearing on Tuesday. "Water conservation in each of the communities definitely had an effect."
Commission Chairman Barry Penzel said he thought it might be the cost of water, which is prompting residents to replace their landscaping with xeriscaping.
Minden water is piped north where it is mixed with local water in order to meet federal arsenic standards in Carson City, Indian Hills and the Johnson Lane area.
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Last year, the town tried to implement new rates based on a study, but Carson City and Indian Hills both balked at the new rates.
Davidson said the town would enter negotiations with both communities next month to establish new rates.
"We will make sure the rates are as close as possible to what it costs to deliver the water," she said.
The town has substantial water rights that it holds as long as it can demonstrate they are being put to beneficial use.
Minden started providing water to the other entities in 2011 as a means to show that it is putting the 12,000 acre feet of water rights it holds to good use.
Davidson said the town has been replacing some of the original pipeline installed in 1905 when the town was first being laid out.
"Usually when you cut those lines open you find a little bit of plaque, in them," she said. "These were as clean as the day they were installed. Good news for overall maintenance, there's no corrosion in lines that are aging."
Minden's general fund receives $966,962 in property and sales tax in its $1.5 million general fund. Its wholesale water business is projected to raise $1.28 million next year. All budgets are balanced as required by Nevada law.