March 1, 2001

Water Issues To Drain $200 Million From City


By Jon A. Brake

"There's gold in them thar hills." No, that is not gold, that is water and wastewater from the City of Manhattan.
It will just cost as much as gold. That is it will cost like gold if a report given to the City Commission Tuesday
night is correct.

The City is paying CH2M Hill $354,000 to look into the future and tell us what will be needed. The "Worst Case
Scenario" shows the City doubling in size by the year 2025 and building a new water treatment plant on the west
side. It would also call for the enlargement of the wastewater treatment plant. And the City supplying water to all
of the surrounding Water Districts.

None of the Commissioners asked if the City would continue on a very moderate growth. The chart to the left
shows the Timing For Water Treatment Capacity Expansion. It shows the first major improvements would start in
2006 and more in 2011. But that is based on the City more than doubling by the year 2025. That will not happen
unless they do find gold in them hill.

What the Minimum Growth line shows is the City increasing the water demands from 15 million gallons a day to
24 million a day but the Commission did not talk about minimums.