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PRWID has rights to water at tail end of its system, wants to keep them

Sun Advocate associate editor

Forty-nine years ago, the water-savvy lawyer Stan Litizzette urged the Price River Water Improvement District to file for rights to the water coming out of its wastewater treatment plant.

As chairman of the PRWID board at the time, his "waste not, want not" advice was taken. The district got rights to 10 cubic feet per second - that's 6.46 million gallons per day - of Price River water downstream from the Wellington plant.

PRWID became the only district, or one a the few districts, to file so early on this type of water right.

That was back in April 1963. In 2013 those rights are up for review, and the PRWID board wants to make sure the district retains them.

General manager Jeff Richens advised the board that if the district wants to be ready for the state water engineer's requirements next year, the district should be working on a new 40-year water use plan soon.

So the board authorized issuing a request for proposals from engineering firms with expertise in the subject.

The district already uses some of its treated water - called effluent - for irrigation on nearby fields.

Provable future uses are what will sway the state engineer's judgment, however, which is why the district is asking for additional outside advice on the matter.

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