Water Shortage Task Force

July 23, 2009 Meeting Summary

A meeting of the Water Shortage Task was held on July 23, 2009, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon (EDT) in Conference Room 2 of the IGCS in Indianapolis. The following is a brief summary of discussion topics, presentations, suggested action items, motions and future work to be completed by the task force:

Discussion/Presentation Items:

  1. Discussion/Approval of Submitted Comments and Updates to Indiana’s Water Shortage Plan (WSP)
  • Meeting chaired by Kari Evans, Chief Legal Counsel for IDNR. Introductions of WSTF members and attendees were conducted. Ms. Evans indicted that updates to the WSP must be completed, and the plan provided to the Legislative Services Agency and the Water Resources Study Committee (WRSC).
  • Goals and Actions Summary updated with comments provided by Carlton Curry and agreed upon by WSTF members.
  • Discussion of comments submitted by Vince Griffin. What are legal requirements for WSP implementation? Report to Water Resources Study Committee (WRSC) and Legislature should specify the current status of water resource issues and also provide direction for work to be addressed by the Water Resources Task Force.
  • Recommended that five bullet points suggested by Vince Griffin be incorporated into cover letter provided to WRSC. Regions within state will have varying authorities (GL Basin, etc.) for implementation.
  • Lead-in paragraph to Section V. (Water Conservation Measures) expanded with the addition of following language proposed by Kari Evans: “Effective water conservation programs involve the entire community and should consider the feasibility of the following basic steps”. Addition of comments supported by WSTF.
  • Removal of references to URC approval in V (B) (1) and (3) approved by WSTF.
  • Suggestion by Roger Goings to replace Nora Stream Gage Site with Noblesville Gage in WSP supported by USGS and WSTF.
  • Section X (A) (3) existing language “With the exception of portions of the southern part of the state…. revised to read In many areas of the state…” Proposed revision agreed upon by WSTF.
  • Regional planning is proactive method of dealing with water shortage. This proactive approach is recommended in existing Goals and Actions Summary.
  • All USGS suggested revisions to WSP have been made.
  • Comments by Dept. of Homeland Security have not been submitted but will be supplemental.
  • Recommendation by Glenn Pratt that State should mandate that all cities and water utilities develop local drought response plans. WSTF believes that current WSP encourages this type of forward-looking planning.
  • Comments provided by Bill Beranek are specific to Water Use Priorities Section of WSP, and evaluate decision making during a water shortage.
    1. For different situations and varying regulators, does State have laws and resources to implement WSP provisions during a water shortage?
    2. WSTF does not make decisions regarding local water use priorities, but should point out deficiencies in current authority and process, and suggest resolution to Legislature.
    3. General observation regarding Recommendations; who are they being directed to (Legislature, DNR, etc.)?
    4. WSP must distinguish between the regulation of “Raw vs. Finished” water supplies. Proposed language for Water User Priorities Section submitted by Bill Etzler agreed upon by WSTF.
  • Other states have more elaborate and complete methods of responding to water shortages (quantify resource and track use), and establish regional priorities. Will Water Resources Task Force have tools to address this issue, and will it be a priority?
  • Carlton Curry believed that water shortage solutions are better determined for finished water supplies. Distinction should be mentioned in WSP and may be a future topic for WRTF. Draft Ordinance provides an effective tool for shortage of finished water.
  • WSTF believes that WSP should also address “raw” water shortage, particularly with regard to the economic impacts caused by a significant drought event such as occurred in1941.
  • Water use priorities are difficult to establish. The creation of regional water planning authorities will allow for local decision making.
  • Cover letter to Legislature should indicate the need for further evaluation of water use priorities.
  • “Recommendations for Future Work” will be provided to Legislature in format similar to Goals and Actions Summary. Both will be included in summary report that will accompany updated WSP.
  • DNR will develop framework for summary report, complete updates to WSP and provide to WSTF for review. Summary report will outline what has been accomplished and will include recommendations for future work. Goals and Actions Summary will specify who will do work and encourage action.
  • A Final Draft of Indiana’s Water Shortage Plan will be made available for public review on the Water Shortage Plan Webpage.

Upcoming Task Force Meeting:

  • No meeting scheduled. All future work to be completed through e-mail communication and by conference calls, if necessary.