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PAWSD continues to grapple with water loss situation

Water loss remains a matter of concern at the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.

The district staff each month provides the board of directors with a one-page agenda summary sheet that includes the water loss figure. Information provided to the board Tuesday indicates the loss is up a small percentage since last month, at 35.21 percent.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Director Roy Vega held up the summary sheet, saying, “It needs to be more than this, for something so unconscionable.”

Operations Manager Gene Tautges said that, in the last month, the method for reporting the water loss had changed slightly. Currently non-revenue water is not included in the calculation and the report of water loss, whereas revenue-producing water is.

“Do you want non-revenue water to be a part of water loss? I wouldn’t think so,” Tautges said.

Director Allan Bunch responded simply, saying, “I do.”

District Manager Ed Winton requested he and Tautges be allowed to take the next two weeks to create a spreadsheet that can be used for a new water loss update summary.

John Ramberg, of the Water Supply Community Work Group, presented the board and staff with a spreadsheet that had previously been used. Vega asked the staff and board why this spreadsheet wouldn’t work. Bunch ended the matter for the night, making a motion that discussion be held until the next meeting when Winton and Tautges have had time to come up with their own spreadsheet.

“I prefer to deal with things in black and white,” Bunch said.

A request was brought before the board for there to be no water charge for water used during the folk festivals held each year on Reservoir Hill. The Pagosa Folk ’N Bluegrass Festival is held at the first of the summer season, the Four Corners Folk Festival takes place during the Labor Day weekend.

Prior to September 2009, water was provided by the district, and not metered.

Director Jan Clinkenbeard stated that, continuing with the idea expressed at the last PAWSD board meeting, she thinks the board’s view on free water should be very clear: No free water.

Winton suggested the water might be exchanged for a booth to be used by the district at the festivals.

Vega then noted that the district policy should be absolute. “I suggest we not get into bartering.”

The request for free water was unanimously denied.

The board then went into executive session to discuss matters pending in water court. Vega pushed that the matters remain open to the public, however, he was the only member of the board who voted this way. The matters to be discussed regarded new aspects of the Dry Gulch case, two pending litigations regarding West Fork and the property owner of BootJack Ranch, and the San Juan River intake.

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