Sunday, July 22, 2012

PSWID playing games with conservation signs

[The PSWID board has scheduled a board meeting for July 28th at 10:00 AM in the Pine Cultural Center.]

By Sam Schwalm
Water for Pine Strawberry
On the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) website,, the following has been posted:

“Our initial request to our customer’s to conserve water was issued while we resolved our mechanical issues with booster pumps and the subsequent filling of the water tanks in the Pine service area.

"While we believed the mechanical issue would not be sustained, we requested our customers to conserve water.

"Today, our Water Conservation and Drought Management Measures remain at Drought Stage 0. Despite remaining at Drought Stage 0, we still ask that our customers be conscious of their water use.”

Comment: PSWID found itself in the situation where they had lost a major chunk of stored water as part of the incident, they were hauling water to try and recover that storage, and they were heading into what is historically the highest summer water usage period, the Fourth of July. They were telling the community to curtail water use. One has to wonder just how bad it would have to get in order for them to declare a Drought Stage 1.

Comment: The Stages are meant as a tool to communicate to the community when there is a water supply problem. PSWID seems to see them as an admission of failure rather than a communication tool. Last summer there were several times when the water levels fell below the thresholds that would call for the changing the Stage level. No changes to the Stage were issued. When the board approved the new Stages, it was fairly clear that they were unlikely to ever be used. That thinking was confirmed when the next month the board agreed to take down the signs at Mr. Pugel’s request. A reminder of the past and bad for business. State law requires the conservation stage plan and a notification method, but doesn’t require that it be effective. So post office posting and an email to those who have signed up will be the only notice we get.

This update is from the group Water For Pine Strawberry. We will be sending out an update after each of the PSWID meetings with a summary of what the board did, additional facts that are relevant to what went on, and some commentary. Updates on earlier meetings are available on our website: .

Water For Pine Strawberry is a group of residents who are concerned about the community’s water issues and how they can best be resolved. Visit our web site,, for more information. The website for PSWID is .

Clarifications can be submitted by anyone who is explicitly named, implicitly identifiable, or a board member to items in this update. Clarifications will be posted on our website. We reserve the right to post a response. Clarifications must deal with the topics discussed in the update that relate to the individual or the board. They must be in family friendly language and be non-abusive. When the clarification is accepted, it will be posted to the website and notice of that posting will be added to the next update.

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