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Missing water remains a mystery

On May 6, the Upper Big Sandy Ground Water Management District held a special board meeting to hear the findings of an investigation into inconsistencies in the town of Calhanís water meter readings for water pumped from the wells and metered to customers.After an executive session with their attorney, they reconvened the regular meeting, and Morris Ververs, board president, said Larry Mott (also a board member) had been asked to investigate the situation.During his report, Mott said the concerns involved data compiled for the months of July and August 2014. During those months, Calhan pumped 2.5 million gallons, or 23 percent more water, than it sold, Mott said. ìThe tendency is to sell more than you pump,î Mott said. ìSo where did that water go?îMott said during those two months water tanker traffic to the Sokol pit had increased, and Rocky Mountain Materials, a subcontractor of NextEra Energy, owns the pit. A well on the pit had been inactive at the time (reactivated this spring); however, a GoogleEarth satellite showed there was water in the tank in September 2014, Mott said. Tom Smith, the Sokol pit manager from RMM, confirmed that Calhan supplied the only water the company had purchased in July and August 2014 (the same months the ìmissingî 2.5 gallons of water was discovered).ìI have examined the pit from GoogleEarth and analyzed it,î Mott said. ìMy estimate is that there is approximately two to five times more water in that pit than was purchased. But that is speculation on my part.îFollowing Mottís report, Ververs said the board had two choices going forward: The board could conduct a hearing and ask Calhan to respond to the report of missing water; or they could focus on redoing the regulations to clarify and strengthen them. ìWe want to maintain a good relationship with Calhan,î Ververs said.The board unanimously voted to further define the water export rules and continue to have discussions with Calhan about the disparity in the water readings report. They decided not to force a hearing. Mott abstained from voting because of his part in the investigation.

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