Even though the city of Bloomington water supply is in decent shape during this drought, Department Director Craig Cummings says they do need to plan for full blown water conservation for the future. He says the drought is highlighting the cost of potable water.
"You know you have those sunk costs in your treatment plant and what we want to do through conservation and perhaps looking at this a little wiser is get the community to say perhaps we don't want to pay for additional water treatment expansion or more supply, if it's just to meet irrigating demands."
Cummings asks what happens the other 75% of the year when people are not watering. Cummings says this should be part of a longer term policy conversation at the city level in the next phase of the long range water study. Bloomington is currently pumping 90% of its daily treatment capacity, a 29% spike ove normal usage at this time. He says the city does have plans to add pumping capacity of more than 25% in bits and pieces over the next decade. But, it's uncertain whether that will keep up with population growth. He says adding pumping and treatment capacity from groundwater sources could cost two to three million dollars per million gallons of pumping capacity.
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