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Salida City Council may have to make decisions with regards to its Raw Water Master Plan (RWMP). Randy Hendrix with Hendrix Wai Engineering, Inc. (HWE, Inc.) presented council members on Monday with an update of a water study originally completed by Applegate Group, Inc. in April 2009.

The purpose of the RWMP is to determine what water supplies, used efficiently will meet the city’s water demands over the next 50 years and to determine areas where the city can improve its water supply and operations.

Since the last study conducted 10 years ago, changes have occurred including the administration of water rights in Water Division 2, the hydrological conditions and a decision on the horizon regarding Salida’s lease of capacity in North Fork Reservoir. Hendrix suggested that there be an update to the RWMP with a new collection of data. He also suggested the development of an extended plan for 50 years, rather than the original 25-year plan.

The project, if approved, is estimated to cost around $36,000, for work including review of relevant data from Applegate’s collection in 2009, site visits, possible expansions, locations of infrastructure for wells and a plan for how to get water to the treatment center. Salida City Council indicated that they had originally budgeted to do another assessment for the RWMP in 2020, but given the current assessment, may allocate funds to begin work on the proposed updates yet this year.

Hendrix stressed the need for back up water systems and to strategize preserving natural assets that he considers to be “the lifeblood of the city,” including resources such as the Harrington Ditch. With no action putting this project into motion just yet, it is foreseeable that pursuit of another study and revamping the plan may need to be addressed in future Salida City Council meetings.