Water, The New Gold
- Posted Sunday, 16th, 2014 By: Glenbrook HOA Category: Uncategorized, Water Conservation The tags: Water
There is nothing better than a day at the beach, a round of golf, a long run, or an early morning outing in the kayak followed by a nice long shower, a cool drink and a delicious meal in the company of good friends. It must be summer in Glenbrook! Hmmm – each of these activities
involves water, or, as many call it, “the new gold”. As the newest member of the Water Coop Board and by far the least knowledgeable, the past six months has been a real education for me, as well as a reminder that our special enclave is blessed with beauty in abundance, much of which is dependent in some way on water. So, when asked to give an article to the Newsletter, I thought it might be a good time to share some of the things I have learned that are so important in preserving the essence of our community without depleting its natural resources. In compiling these questions, I reached out to several unsuspecting Glenbrookians (doubt that is a word) and asked what they knew, thought they knew or would like to know about our water situation. Hopefully, this little Q & A will enlighten you as well as enlist your unanimous support in our ongoing water conservation efforts.
WE NEVER HAD TO WORRY ABOUT WATER CONSERVATION BEFORE – WHY NOW?
Until recently, we at Glenbrook have never had an issue with exceeding our water rights. However, over the past 4 years our water usage has increased by about 27%. Usage spiked dramatically last summer, causing the Board to explore likely causes of the increased usage. You may recall that we hired an outside consultant to do a leak study which resulted in the finding of no significant leaks. We also independently investigated reports of illegal hookups and have found no evidence that they exist. The good news is that our water rights should be enough for our needs – if we pull together and practice common sense conservation, we can stay well within our rights without having to
make great sacrifices.
EVERYONE PAYS A FIXED RATE, I CAN USE ALL THE WATER I WANT, RIGHT?
Unfortunately NO. There has long been a misconception by many (myself included) that since our water comes from the lake and we have our own plant, there is an unlimited supply of clear, clean, potable water. While it is true that our water comes from the lake, our usage is restricted
by the water rights granted to us. It’s kind of like learning that there is no Tooth Fairy! I AM NOT THE PROBLEM – SOMEBODY ELSE MUST BE USING TOO MUCH! Currently most Glenbrook members do not have meters, so the Coop does not have a way of determining where usage is particularly high or low. So long as we live within our usage rights, we have felt no need to install meters. Our Water Coop has about 93 million gallons of water rights. This is an average of 259,000 gallons per year per Coop member. The average U.S. Household uses 146,000 gallons per year with 70% of that being indoor use, leaving 30% used outside, primarily on landscaping. If we are unable to voluntarily curb our usage to live within our allocated rights, we may need to install individual meters, which cost’s about $5,000 per household (homeowner’s expense). Once meters are installed, each member would be charged at a predetermined metered rate, under the Conservation Plan put into effect last Fall.
WHO ASSIGNS AND REGULATES WATER RIGHTS AND USAGE? CAN’T WE JUST BUY MORE RIGHTS?
Water rights are assigned and regulated by the Nevada State Engineer’s Office. There are no new rights available from the State for Glenbrook, so we don’t have the option of asking the State Engineer to grant us more rights. More to the point, we have an acre foot of water per Coop member which is considered by industry experts to be an ample amount. So, again, our issue isn’t water rights. Our issue is conservation!
HOW DO OUR RATES COMPARE TO OTHER COMMUNITIES IN DOUGLAS COUNTY?
Community Current Annual Rate Proposed Annual Rate
Glenbrook $1,400 $1,400
Zephyr $1,260 $1,374
Skyland $1,476 $2,406
Cave Rock $2,928 $3,026