City Council approves new water exploration

Water is a precious resource, especially in a drought. Recently, the City of Wellington brought in a water engineer consulting firm to study the City's water supply. Based on the findings of the study, the Council voted to proceed with the next step of determining new sources of H2o, which will cost $100,000.

The money was allocated in this year's budget. City Manager, Gus Collins says it's a good time to review the town's water situation.

"Both storage, supply, and then look at options for the future," Collins said at the April 16 City Council Meeting. "...with mother nature providing a lack of rainfall, timing was good for us to move forward with this." The council reviewed the entire study that was completed a couple of months ago.

"It did provide many options and good information," Collins continued. "It looked at the past, it looked at the future, what we need to have, and certainly indicated that additional supply is something that we need to look." Wellington has two sources of surface water, along with nine ground water wells.

Before Tuesday's meeting, Wellington City Lake was at 45 inches below pool. That's up from the record low of 72 inches.

"We have made strides in increasing the lake's capacity," Collins said. "We do have the water right, when the water is at a certain level, to pump from the Chikaskia River to our lake. We're doing that on a daily basis." The City is also investigating the possibility of obtaining water rights to Slate Creek.

The old, eight-person Council approved the water well project unanimously, Chase Weber was not present. The Wellington Daily News is attempting to obtain a copy of the water study.

Collins went on to explain the next step at the meeting.

"This is something we can't accomplish over night," he told the Council. "The testing takes three to four months, then we'll follow up with the consideration of drilling the supplement our existing supply."