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LETTERS / Boone-Doggle: Boone Cries Wolf Since 2004

Sept. 9, 2014. Dear Editor,

Boone has been inciting fear of running out of water and flushing money down the toilet. Boone claimed they exceeded 80% of the capacity of their water supply requiring immediate planning for another water supply. They also claimed they were going to exceed 90% of capacity by 2010, requiring construction of a new intake to prevent a state moratorium on new water hookups.

Boone DoggleIt’s 2014 and North Carolina has not issued any moratorium on water hookups, the only moratoriums are those imposed by Boone. Eight years after Boone claimed they had exceeded 80% of their water supply, we find Boone and their consulting engineers, WK Dickson, have been citing a regulation that DOES NOT exist.

WK Dickson states in their 2009 Environmental Assessment,

“It should be noted that when the Town’s five day maximum demand (MDD) for the system reaches 2.40 MGD (80% of capacity), the North Carolina Department for Environmental and Natural Resources Public Water Supply Section (NCDENR) regulations recommend that expansion planning be initiated.”

After reviewing NCDENR regulations, we found an “80%-90% rule” similar to the regulation Boone and WK Dickson chant; however, it is related to wastewater discharge and moratoriums on sewer hookups. NCDENR has corroborated our findings; a N.C. General Statute [§143-355(l] nullifies Boone’s claims:

“A unit of local government or large community water system shall submit a revised plan that specifies how the water system intends to address foreseeable future water needs when eighty percent (80%) of the water system’s available water supply based on calendar year average daily demand has been allocated to current or prospective water users or the seasonal demand exceeds ninety percent (90%).”

Boone hasn’t been close to 80% of capacity. In 2013, the Average Daily Demand was 53.9% of capacity, identical to the same percent of capacity ten years earlier in 2003.

We did an in-depth analysis of the projections made by WK Dickson in their 2009 Environmental Assessment. WK Dickson projects a total demand of 6.8 MGD by 2030, attempting to justify 7 MGD, the combined capacity of the current intake (3 MGD) and the proposed intake (4 MGD). In our opinion the projections are inaccurate. They are based on conflicting and inconsistent data, and questionable methodology. This is significant since these projections were used to justify the need for an additional 4 million gallons of water per day from the South Fork of the New River, 27 river miles from the corporate limits of Boone, at the Watauga/Ashe County line. This is dubbed the “sweet spot”, the only feasible site out of 27 options.

We believe Boone doesn’t know how much water is needed in the future. The best case scenario is the law was misinterpreted and inadvertent mistakes were made in the projections. The worst case scenario is we have been subject to a plan to deceive the public.

Be informed! Get involved! Become an advocate for the New River!

See attachments:

Page 8-9 of WK Dickson EA 11-2009

New River Advocates 2009 EA Pg 8-9 A & O

New River Advocates Board