East Valley water levels dropping
December 18, 2006
Ruhenstroth residents have been watching their wells go down for quite a while now, so it’s no wonder that residents protested the transfer of water rights into a well located in the middle of their neighborhood.
The issue came to light when a few Ruhenstroth residents received notice that water rights were being diverted from a well operated by the Town of Minden to a county well located near the Ruhenstroth Volunteer Fire Department.
The water rights were purchased from Minden by developer Peter Beekhof, who was obeying a county order before he would be allowed to build his proposed Old Sawmill Industrial Park.
The county determined where the rights should be moved and Ruhenstroth residents made it clear they’d rather it wasn’t to their neighborhood. The point residents make is that transferring water rights doesn’t necessarily translate into the transfer of water.
It was pure happenstance that residents were notified of this most recent water rights move. It turns out the county has been moving water rights into the Ruhenstroth well for some time and that this latest move was at the tipping point where residents had to be notified.
Some residents have already had to redrill their wells, an expensive prospect. So is connecting to the county’s water system.
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Last week’s meeting in Ruhenstroth defined the problem and resulted in the withdrawal of the county’s application, but that is a temporary solution to what will be a growing problem for Ruhenstroth and other East Valley residents.
Until a means is found to recharge the aquifer in the East Valley or slow down the draw, residents will continue to see their water levels drop.