Water Shortage Task Force

March 28, 2008 Meeting Summary

A meeting of the Water Shortage Task was held on March 28, 2008, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon (EDT) in Conference Room A of the IGCS in Indianapolis. The following is a brief summary of discussion topics, presentations, suggested action items, motions, and a proposed agenda for the upcoming April 18, 2008, task force meeting:

Committee Updates:

No Committee Meetings were conducted; No updates made.

Discussion/Presentation Items:

  1. Consumptive Use Criteria; William Etzler reported that criteria for consumptive use are not standard, and that there is a need to establish that published Great Lakes area consumptive use numbers are in line with Indiana. Work group members are investigating reported agricultural and industrial values. It was suggested that there should be some actual calculation of specific facilities inflow and outflow for consumptive use values. It was noted that even these values may be estimates in some instances because some uses are not revenue producing. (e.g. hydrant flushing) and hence not metered.
  2. Water Management Planning Areas; Surface water divides are traditionally used. There is some concern that there could be possible conflicts in either granting or receiving water availability assistance form interested parties with strict adoption of this approach. In addition, groundwater may or may not follow surface water divides although surface water divides are generally accepted as the leading indicator of a groundwater divide. The water management planning area discussion will continue at the April meeting.
  3. Minimum Streamflow;  Needs should be re-evaluated because standards for Indiana’s existing Water Shortage Plan were based on a Purdue University study published in 1990. Portions of the Purdue study (Instream Flow Requirements and Regional Drought Indicators for Indiana, 1990) will be disseminated to the task force for review.
  4. Water Conservation; Suggestions were made to evaluate conservation measured implemented by various entities and also to solicit input from water supply groups.
  5. Indiana Suggested Model Ordinance; Suggestion was made that more specificities for saving or not using water could be placed in the appendix of the document.
  6. Review of comments and proposed adoption of Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) as drought index for Indiana; The Review of Available Drought Indices summary report with the recommendation that the SPI in conjunction with the U.S. Drought Monitor replace the Palmer Hydrological Drought Index was sent out to the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, the Indiana Manufacturers Association, and the Indiana Mineral Aggregates Association. There were no comments against the proposed changes. Dr. Dev Niyogi, Indiana State Climatologist and Professor at Purdue University, presented a review of the SPI and Palmer Drought Indices (PDI); i.e. Palmer Hydrological Drought Index and Palmer Drought Severity Index. The PDI historically was the best index available at the time of the May, 2000, revision of Indiana’s Water Shortage Plan.  Research has shown that the PDI is sluggish compared to the SPI and that the PDI lags behind the SPI. Dr. Niyogi recommended that the SPI, along with the U.S. Drought Monitor replace the PDI as the drought index for Indiana. Streamflow was discussed as a tool to use in conjunction with the SPI and U.S. Drought Monitor.
  7. Future Water Shortage Task Force Meetings have been scheduled for 10:00 am to 12:00 noon (EDT) in Conference Room A of the Indiana Government Center South on the following dates:
    • Friday, April 18, 2008
    • Friday, May 16, 2008
    • Friday, June 27, 2008

Upcoming Task Force Meeting:

  1. Next Water Shortage Task Force Meeting scheduled for April 18, 2008, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon (EDT) in Conference Room A of the IGCS. Tentative agenda items include:
    • Evaluation of Consumptive Use Criteria;
    • Discussion of Minimum Streamflow Criteria;
    • Discussion of appropriate Water Management Planning Areas.