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Fairview, Wood Village reach agreement on wells

FAIRVIEW - After months of negotiations, officials in Fairview and Wood Village finally approved an agreement over water rights last month.

'We've been working on this for a long time,' said Bob Cochran, Fairview Public Works Director.

Fairview officials filed a protest with the Oregon Water Resource Department in May 2005, arguing that a new well that was under construction in Wood Village could affect Fairview's ability to provide enough water for its citizens.

Both cities draw well water from the same aquifer, which is also used by a number of other cities in the greater Portland-metropolitan area, but Fairview's water rights are senior to those of Wood Village, Cochran said.

The agreement, which the Fairview City Council unanimously approved Wednesday, July 19, details how Wood Village must curtail use of its new well if Fairview sees a dramatic decrease in the water level in any of its wells.

The water levels will be determined based on a three-year pumping rate average.

If the water level in any of Fairview's wells drops to 10 feet below the pumping level, city officials will request that residents conserve water.

However, if that number falls 15 feet below the pumping level, Wood Village must reduce how much water it pumps from its new well.

Wood Village must cease using the well if the water level of any of Fairview's wells drops by 25 feet or more.

'Fairview would have to have substantial data to present to the state … before we would have to drill a new well, and the hydrogeologists say the chances of this happening are slim to none,' said Wood Village Mayor David Fuller. 'In the long run, I think we'll come out ahead on this.'

The Wood Village City Council unanimously approved the agreement at a special meeting held Thursday, June 29.