Water Shortage Task Force

July 25, 2008 Meeting Summary

A meeting of the Water Shortage Task was held on July 25, 2008, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon (EDT) in Conference Rooms 4 & 5 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 August 28, 2008, task force meeting:

Committee Updates:

No Committee Meetings were conducted; No updates made.

Discussion/Presentation Items:

1) Ron McAhron of IDNR requested that the remaining tasks of the Water Shortage Task Force be completed prior to the meeting of the Legislative Summer Study Committee which will occur in September or October, 2008.

  • A copy of the Drought Indices Draft for the update of the Water Shortage Plan was provided to Task Force members.
  • A tentative meeting date of Thursday, September 18, 2008, was established for the Task Force.
  • A draft update of the existing Water Shortage Plan will be made available on the Water Shortage Plan website.

2) Consumptive Use Definition and Criteria:

Bill Etzler provided several existing definitions of Consumptive Use such as:
Minnesota- Water taken from source and not immediately returned;
Florida- Any use of water that reduces the supply from which it was withdrawn;
USGS- Comparison of water withdrawal data versus water returned (NPDES).

  • Agricultural water withdrawals may be lost for other uses during irrigation season.
  • There are two components to consumptive use; 1) Phase changes and 2) time element. Time frame should be observable and measurable.
  • Great Lakes Compact has different component; uses a 90-day rolling average for consumptive use evaluations.
  • Priority Use determinations for restrictions during a drought may include consumptive use criteria. Consumptive Use may require an additional definition.
  • Value of Consumptive Use Coefficient is to determine water withdrawn and not available for reuse.
  • SB 369 requires the Task Force to distinguish between consumptive and nonconsumptive “withdrawals” not “use”.
  • Bill Etzler will assemble several questions regarding consumptive use that will be provided to the Task Force for response prior to the next meeting.
  • A problem may occur when attempting to combine consumptive use and regulatory issues. Consumptive use is a subset of withdrawals.
  • There should be a standard definition of Consumptive Use, but must result in some sort of water withdrawal prioritization.
  • Bill Beranek indicated that withdrawals made during a drought would not be available on the short term for other water users, and no determination of essential versus non-essential water use is made.

3) Water Conservation Measures:

4) Drought Management Areas:

  • Two step approach – Drought determination using 9 Climatic Regions; Response to drought using regional planning. Identification and response may involve only the regional planning areas when they are identified.
  • Task Force must fulfill SB 369 requirements and then recommend/complete regional planning.

5) Proposed Revisions to Sale of Water Rule:

  • Proposed revision of draft rule for Sale of Water from State-Financed Reservoirs (LSA Document #08-131) was presented for review. The proposed revisions will be provided to entire Task Force for review/recommendation.

6) Low Flow Policy:

  • Executive Summary of 1990 Purdue Report will be made to Task Force members.
  • Q80 is recommended as threshold in the Purdue Report. IDEM utilizes 7Q10 for regulatory action.

Upcoming Task Force Meeting:

Next Water Shortage Task Force Meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 28, 2008, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon (EDT) in Conference Rooms 4 and 5 of the IGCS. Tentative agenda items include:

  • Discussion/Revision of Current Conservation Measures;
  • Discussion/Determination of Consumptive Use Criteria;
  • Discussion/Determination of Water Management Planning Areas; and
  • Discussion of Low Flow Policy.