WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON? With Town of Boone’s Winkler Creek Reservoir

Published Friday, September 18, 2015 at 5:42 pm
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The Winkler Creek Reservoir was disconnected from the Town of Boone’s water supply in 1982. Photos by Jesse Wood

By Jesse Wood

As the Town of Boone continues its decade-long water intake project along the South Fork of the New River along the border of Ashe County, some citizens are wondering why the Town of Boone isn’t utilizing the town’s Winkler Creek Reservoir.

The Winkler Creek Reservoir is estimated to contain 60 million gallons of water, but its been disconnected from the Town of Boone’s water supply system since “after 1982, after the Clean Water Act was passed and after the South Fork New River Intake was constructed,” according to Town Manager John Ward.

Ward’s comments came in response to an email from Frank Packard, who has opposed the town’s intake project near Todd for the past decade. Ward replied to Packard and copied local media.

Packard wanted to know when the Winkler Creek Reservoir was disconnected, what were the reasons for it being disconnected, and who was authority behind the disconnection.

Ward said he didn’t know who made the decision to disconnect the reservoir, but said that the reservoir was disconnected after the new (now old) intake on the South Fork of the New River became operational.

The flow exiting the Winkler Creek Reservoir serves two “required purposes,” according to Ward.

“The first is that we have to maintain a minimum flow below the South Fork intake per the existing withdrawal permit. The flow from the Winkler Creek Reservoir enters the South Fork of the New River just below the South Fork intake and counts toward that minimum flow. The second is that we also have to maintain adequate flow below the Winkler Creek Reservoir for the native trout that have been found in Winkler Creek. It is important to remember that the current intake permit on the South Fork is dependent on maintaining the flows from Winkler Creek.”

The Winkler Creek Reservoir was among 27 locales – including 10 along the South Fork of the New River – studied for the placement of the intake that the town is now trying to build along the South Fork of the New River in Todd.

See reasons why the town settled on the current proposed site here.

 

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