Water Shortage Task Force

September 18, 2008 Meeting Summary

A meeting of the Water Shortage Task was held on September 18, 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 October 23, 2008, task force meeting:

Committee Updates:

No Committee Meetings were conducted; No updates made.

Discussion/Presentation Items:

  • Charlie White of IDNR initiated the meeting with introductions by members of the Water Shortage Task Force.

1) Discussion/Approval of Water Shortage Identification Regions:

  • The Water Shortage Task Force was agreeable with the proposed language for Water Shortage Identification Regions with suggested revisions.
  • Utilizing climate regions for drought declaration is preferred. If drought is declared, communities can work together independent of climate regions.
  • Proposed regional planning areas may not have same boundaries as climate regions, but can use climate region data for drought declaration.
  • Motion was made by task force for adoption of proposed language (with suggested revisions) for the "Determination of Water Shortage Identification Regions." Motion was Approved.

2) Proposed Resolution for the Funding of USGS Gauging Network:

  • Funding for the gage network must be specified and not left to the discretion of the Legislature. Also, gage fund should anticipate and provide for future growth of the network.
  • Establishing a dedicated fund and administrative body for implementation is primary purpose of proposed resolution.
  • The gauge network fund should be dedicated and non-reverting. It will be an improvement to existing funding program that is disjointed between agencies.
  • Each state agency would continue to fund gage network within their respective budgets.
  • Although funding issues cannot be addressed at this point, proposed resolution should be approved by task force for presentation to Legislature.
  • Proposed resolution is supported by Christopher Burke Engineering with name of fund and funding source included in draft.
  • Suggestion was made that proposed resolution include a map of existing gages with proposed locations of new gages.
  • Can proposed resolution be presented at the next Water Resources Study Commission meeting on September 23, or possibly at third meeting conducted during the month of October.
  • Perhaps the resolution should be pursued in a two step process; 1) establish administrative structure, and 2) specify funding source.
  • Growth of gage network would be pursued in subsequent years with additional recommendations.
  • Proposed resolution is presented as a template for the Legislature. It is best to include the necessary amount of information for it to be approved.
  • Suggested changes to the proposed resolution include naming the proposed fund the “Indiana Drought and Flood Gage Emergency Preparedness Fund”, and that it shall be initially funded by the reallocation of gage acquisition and maintenance operations.
  • Motion was made for approval of the "Proposed Resolution for the Funding of Stream, Lake and Reservoir Gages and Ground-Water Observation Wells" (with suggested revisions) to be presented to the Legislature. Motion was Approved.

3) Discussion of Regional Water Planning:

  • Task Force was formed to update existing Water Shortage Plan, which is a response or action to drought. Task force responsibility is to define dimensions of water shortage and appropriate response.
  • Other states delineate water management planning areas by aquifers, regions or communities.
  • Water supply planning requires communication between various entities. State of Illinois has identified different regions of the state; one urban and one more rural. State has looked at supply and demand scenarios.
  • Water supply planning in Indiana should be recommended by the task force. Drought must be addressed by each community. Task force should recommend regional planning with pilot studies (based upon geography, location, water supply, etc.).
  • Role of state must be clear for water supply planning. Data must be made available and applicable regulations must be specified.
  • A climate region may contain more than one regional water authority.
  • Indianapolis Water Company (IWC) had more than 20 local agreements with local water suppliers to portions of eight counties, but not 100% of any one county. IWC attempted to determine finished water demand in eight county area, and also growth demand and how it was impacted by conservation.
  • Proposed Marion County Conservation Ordinance is coming before City-County Council on October 4, 2008, for approval. Ordinance does not include Cities of Speedway and Lawrence. Including these towns, as well as Johnson and Morgan Counties is believed to be necessary for an effective "Regional Water Authority."
  • Regional Water Authority must have 20 to 50 year water supply demand determination to be effective.
  • Recommendation made by Jack Wittman to identify three areas in state to conduct pilot Regional Water Planning (Northwest, Central, South) by next WSTF Meeting. Plans would address water supply and demand, price of water, conservation, water usage, conflict areas, etc. Approach used at one location may not be appropriate for other parts of the state.
  • Glenn Pratt stated that most communities will likely not adopt a water plan or conservation ordinance. He suggested that the WSTF recommend to the Legislature that "mandatory" water plans be developed by communities.

Upcoming Task Force Meeting:

Next Water Shortage Task Force Meeting scheduled for Thursday, October 23, 2008, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon (EDT) in Conference Room 1 of the IGCS. Tentative agenda items include:

  • Discussion of Regional Water Planning Areas
  • Discussion/Determination of Consumptive Use Definition.