[Vision2020] re: water

dfrench dfrench at moscow.com
Sat Apr 22 12:28:46 PDT 2006

It was suggested to the city back in about 2000 or 2001 that the treated
effluent pipeline used to water fields at UI be extended eastward to water
selected greenspaces along the Paradise Creek bike path/linear park and on
to the cemetery (and possibly on north to the Joseph Street playfields,
etc.).  I know because I (and several others) made the request to then-City
Engineer Gary Presol.  When Sweet Avenue was re-done, an effluent pipeline
was installed as far east as Hwy 95 South because the cost of this kind of
project is small when a trench is open anyway, but expensive when streets,
etc, have to be torn up to do it.  


The City also commissioned a study (surprise!) regarding further extension
of this line which was done by Kimball Engineering.  They determined that
the project was "too expensive" meaning the pay-back period based on the
price of water at that time was too long.  But the study really only
compared the cost of the project in terms of current dollars and not in
terms of longevity of our aquifers and the value of drinking water in the
future.  The cemetery does have a shallow well, but it is no longer
functional which adds to the rationale that an irrigation pipeline could be
feasible. However, depletion of our aquifers and violations of Idaho state
law regarding mining of our ground water remain big concerns.  


Since the city is expanding to the east, perhaps Dan C's suggestion of a
wastewater treatment plant on the east side of town makes sense for the
future.  We all must face the fact the our resources are more limited than
our demands on them, so reuse will become increasingly important (and
cost-effective!) in the future.


I walk/run/bike through the cemetery frequently and enjoy its tranquil,
calming qualities.  The trees are well-established and should require only
periodic watering during the driest time of the year for maintenance.  As to
the verdant nature of the grasses already established, they are lush and
green in spring and early summer and should be allowed to go dormant during
the hottest, driest time of the year.  Please remember brown grasses are
dormant, not dead.  Often, with fall rains, grasses green up once again late
in the year.  This represents the cycle of life-and, after all, isn't that
part of what we should be reflecting on when we visit the cemetery?


I appreciate Melynda's desire for a verdant space and believe that even
without supplemental irrigation the older part of the cemetery would be
pleasant any time of year.  But I tend toward Bill London's point of
view-after all, I would rather precious drinking water be available for
those who come after us, than for those who, hopefully, had their thirst
fully quenched while here before us.


Dianne French

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