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Water plant designed to serve Stafford

The Carollo Report, completed in 2007, is the blueprint for the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership (LOT) proposal for a new 38 million gallons per day (MGD) water treatment plant and transmission pipeline.

The city of Lake Oswego proposes to increase its daily treatment capacity from 16 to 24 MGD when its average daily use for 2011 was only 4.7 MGD and peak daily demand was 12 MGD.

LO’s initial water conservation program has been very successful, achieving 36 percent water consumption reduction, with estimated ultimate conservation of 50 percent. This threshold requires metering the remainder of customers and stopping more of their 10 percent leakage water loss.

The Carollo Report only estimates a 0.5 percent water savings, not 36 percent or 50 percent. Using the Carollo charts, at 36 percent conservation LO will never need the additional capacity for their current water users.

The Carollo Report states that the proposed project is Tigard’s third best option. The best option for Tigard is continuing to buy wholesale water from Portland, which hasn’t raised the rates as the Carollo Report predicts.

The Carollo Report includes the Stafford triangle in the proposed service area. It is mentioned numerous times in the report and is shown on the service area map. LO expansion into Stafford is one of the justifications for the new plant and capacity increase. The Carollo Report estimates 50 percent growth in the service area when the entire LO build-out is calculated at 5 percent.

The original cost estimate of the plant has grown from $128 million to $250 million and will probably rise as new challenges, such as the liquefiable soils under the proposed treatment plant site, are discovered. These additional costs will drive the water prices in LO and Tigard dramatically upward, at least four times more in Tigard.

Summer flows on the Clackamas River are currently at the mandated minimum limit before the new LOT intake structure begins pumping.

Timothy Lake feeds the Clackamas River and relies on the snowpack between 6,000 and 8,000 feet. With climate change, in the future, this snowpack will melt more quickly and won’t be able to be available in July through October to augment river flows as it is now. The Clackamas River watershed will be hard pressed to maintain summer demand and levels, before the new LOT withdrawals.

Despite the strident arguments from LOT attorneys and others that this has nothing to do with Stafford development, the report shows this project has everything to do with Stafford urban expansion ... it is even on their future service map in the report.

Regarding water rights, the Carollo Report says “use them or lose them.” If the LOT project is approved, West Linn and all of Clackamas County won’t be able to increase water usage for economic development and growth. LOT and Washington County will have the permits and the massive pipeline to withdraw the available water, regardless of who holds senior water rights.

The real reason for the Carollo Report is that in 2007 LO decided to maximize their water rights on the Clackamas River and squeeze everyone else out and reversed engineered the report to build the plant. Their citizens get caught footing the huge bill.

Please join me at the West Linn City Council meeting on Jan. 14 to oppose this new mega-plant.

Jack Norby is a resident of West Linn.



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