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PRWID officials discuss division of river water shares, '09 elections

Sun Advocate writer

County water levels at the Scofield Reservoir currently register at around 42,000 acre feet according Ann O'Brien of the Price River Water Users, however, storage is down from June when the reservoir was at around 52,000 acre feet.

But the situation is no surprise to officials since higher temperatures have increased water demand.

In addition water has been going over the dam's spill way. And O'Brien attributes this to the increased drop in water, which has a diverse range of uses in Carbon County.

According to Jeff Richens, the majority of Price River water goes into agriculture.

But the Price River Water Improvement District representative indicated that a significant percentage also goes to the Carbon power plant north of Helper.

Water on the Price River is divided into shares. And Collectively, the Price River users owns the most at around 26,000. PRWID owing 3,200 and the power plant about 2,000 shares.

Although the breakdown of shares does not show who is currently using the most water, it indicates who has rights to the river.

The wet spring has also made for a higher silt content in the Price River and with the additional runoff volume, it has been difficult to purify.

According the Richens at the last PRWID meeting on July 21, about 3.5 million gallons of water per day are currently being treated.

During the same meeting, PRWID boardmembers discussed the upcoming elections. They voiced concerns about voter turnout and voting locations.

The primary issues concerning the elections included how to conduct a fair and accurate vote because PRWID elections typically have a small turnout of around 300 to 400 people.

The possibility of a mail in vote was presented at the PRWID board meeting.

But while a higher turnout could be reached through mail, the accuracy of such a vote came into question.

"How do you validate it?" asked boardmember Karl Housekeeper.

Aside from questions about the validation of a mail in vote, it was discovered mailing out ballots would cost the district about $4,000. Because of the problems with a mail in vote, the board was decided to conduct the water improvement district elections at the PRWID building, located at 265 South Fairgrounds Road.

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