June 1, 2016
The District is deeply involved in long term planning to reduce the amount of water used for landscape irrigation. Water is the common bond that brings together Sun Valley’s diverse population. Properly managing water resources continues to be critical to our overall quality of life.
As part of its consumptive use permitting process, The Idaho Department of Water Resources requires all permit holders to use water as efficiently as possible. Water supply utilities are requested to implement conservation rate structures, perform water audits to ensure system efficiency and develop programs for the use of reclaimed water.
Working in conjunction with the City of Sun Valley, the District sponsored Ordinance 421,
limiting the amount of irrigated area for new construction to ½ of one acre. This action mirrors limits placed on new water rights issued by the Idaho Department of Water Resources and charts the future for water use in Idaho.
The project to deliver reuse water from the Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Elkhorn Golf Course is complete and was used exclusively during the 2015 irrigation season. The efforts resulted in a 180 million gallon reduction in domestic water consumption.
The District is implementing several new policies for the 2016 irrigation season:
- Even numbered addresses must water on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- Odd numbered addresses water on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
- Multi Family projects are assigned even /odd designation to spread demand.
- Maximum of 30 minutes per irrigation station
- No unattended hose usage
- No watering between the hours of 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM during the months of July and August. -e.g., even numbered addresses may water on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6:00 PM that day until 10:00AM the following day.
These policies are predicated on the diminishing availability of water:
- The water table in the Wood River Valley has dropped an average of 4 inches per year over a 25-year study period. Many District customers have experienced entrained air in the water supply due to low water levels.
- The “Water Call” placed by surface water right holders against ground water pumpers, including the District, in the Wood River Valley continues to work through the court system.
The District is working on both short and long term solutions to these issues:
- Installed a variable speed drive on the largest well to match pump speed with water availability.
- Construction of a new well to provide water to the Lane Ranch North Reservoir, and the rest of the southern portion of the District.
- Providing reuse water from the Ketchum / Sun Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Elkhorn Golf Course, replacing 65 million gallons of ground water pumped in 2014, with similar water savings anticipated annually.
- Actively involved with the Galena Ground Water District and other Valley municipalities in the search for a long-term defense of the District’s water right portfolio.
What you can do:
- Talk to your landscaper; tell them that you want to use less water.
- Install a rain sensor to shut off your irrigation system during rain events.
- If you have any questions or comments contact General Manager Pat McMahon at (208) 622-7610 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- You are welcome to attend our monthly Board meetings, held at Sun Valley City Hall on the third Monday of the month at 8:30 AM.
- The formal regulation governing water usage can be found on the District’s website www.svwsd.com.
Enhanced Customer Information, because the District bills on a quarterly basis (February 1, June 1, September 1, December 1); current irrigation use information is not received in a timely manner to correct irrigation issues. If you would like monthly information on your irrigation usage contact Chris Benson, (208) 622-7610, ext.102 or