Workshop Tuesday night – this issue: water |

Workshop Tuesday night – this issue: water

Sheila Gardner

The Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District will hold a workshop Tuesday night to discuss whether to join the Carson Valley Water Authority.

“Right now, we just want to talk about what the purpose of joining the water authority would be,” said Bob Spellberg, improvement district manager. “We want to see what the long-term goals are and what we need to do.”

Spellberg said the GRGID board was awaiting a revised interlocal agreement from water authority counsel Scott Brooke in lieu of a document drawn up by the county District Attorney’s office.

“Our board envisioned this as more than teaming together to fund the challenge brought by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe,” Spellberg said. “We want to look at the bigger picture, for instance, how to spend the 210-water fund. I think the concern seems to be everyone paid into it, but the money wasn’t used for anything but the county good.”

Spellberg said GRGID’s concerns about joining CVWA including changing the name from “authority” to “association,” looking at some of GRGID’s projects including wellhead protection and consideration of tying water systems together.

“We’re at the tail end of putting our wellhead protection project together,” he said. “Our management program is just about ready.”

Spellberg said the wellhead protection project studies where the water comes from and what sources of contamination could be close to it.

“We used a half-mile radius to see what the problems could be and how we could mitigate it before they happen,” Spellberg said.

At the Carson Valley Water Authority’s meeting Tuesday, Brooke asked for comments on the revised draft of the agreement by the end of the year.

“Some comments on the (county’s) draft have been that it’s not specific enough, is too broad and dissipates the entities’ powers,” Brooke said.

The water authority was formed more than three years ago by Minden and the Gardnerville Town Water Co. to protect the communities’ vast water rights from outside attack. The entity kicked into high gear in January after the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe asked the federal government to look at management of the upper Carson River.

The group has been recruiting new members, but so far only the county has joined.

“If nothing benefits us right now, why should we join right now? We’ve been told that if the sky fell in, we might have to replace the water rights we have now,” said Spellberg. “That would be a major expense. But we don’t have an excess amount. Every time we have a chance to prove beneficial use, we have. We feel we’re in pretty good shape with our water rights.”

GRGID has 4,819 acre feet of water rights, Spellberg said.

Tuesday’s meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the district office, 931 Mitch Dr., Gardnerville Ranchos. For information, call 265-2048.