Mayor: 'We cannot extract water to the point of it running dry'
The Trinidad City Council on Wednesday afternoon unanimously approved a study of the city’s water needs, an effort the council framed as necessary preparation for the general future but which most in the public interpreted as a precautionary step ahead of a major hotel development that could rely on the city’s water supply.
The study would include five separate tasks, including an assessment of the city’s current water source, the Luffenholtz Creek; a search for alternative sources of water supply; and developing new city policies to address potential draught.
“It’s very, very important we understand the timeline of this going forward,” said Richard Johnson, a member of the citizen’s group Humboldt Alliance for Responsible Planning, a functional watchdog of the hotel in its early planning.
“My concern is we will put the cart before the horse … that we won’t have the facts and data and public review ready in time for when a decision (on the hotel) needs to be made,” he said.
But Trinidad Mayor Steve Ladwig and other council members emphasized that “with or without” the hotel, studying the Luffenholtz Creek’s effectiveness as a water source is crucial for a distant future with an uncertain environment.
“We cannot extract water to the point of it running dry,” Ladwig said. “During low flows, the city simply cannot get to a point where we can’t expect water.”