The video is very informative, although a little dry.
The report was performed by INTERA, Inc., led by Jack Wittman. I do not know Wittman but I have been impressed by all the INTERA people with whom I have interacted. He is based in Bloomington and apparently knows Indiana's water landscape and its waterwonks. He's not some guy who blew in for a couple of weeks then flew back to SoCal or some other faraway place.
So why should the Indiana CofC do a state report? Why not? Two words: jobs, economy.
It's great that the Indiana CofC did this report. If business people think water is important, then you know it's REALLY important. If the business community, which is focused on the bottom line, thinks something is important, it's far more likely to have an impact than some glib academic pontificating about why water should be valued by all humanity.
Some findings, from the press release:
Among the findings:
- In Southern Indiana, local water resources are not always able to meet anticipated future needs. For example, there are few aquifers or perennial streams immediately south of Bloomington – a prime area for business development with the expansion of Interstate 69 and the continued work at the Crane Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center.
- While water supplies in Central Indiana are diverse and utilities are making plans, continued population growth leads to projections of an additional 50 million gallons per day to meet the needs of the region by 2050.
- North of the Wabash River, water is relatively abundant. The area, however, is seeing significant increases in water usage for irrigation. These seasonal fluctuations require additional monitoring, in part to determine impact on other water users.
Some of the recommendations:
-Creating widespread awareness about the need for water supply planning
-Coordinating current efforts, including the funding of additional water research
-More robust monitoring of water resources
-Standardized systems for data analysis and water resource management
Funding research? Robust monitoring? Water supply planning? Standardized system for data anlysis? What state is this? Did I die and go to heaven?
This study is not a final report. It does call for a study to develop a long-range statewide plan that will take 3-5 years. Such a study could be funded by the state (with contributions from the commercial sector) but not done by the state. You need an organization that is perceived as an honest broker without an agenda (tough, I know).
I have not read the entire report but hope to shortly. An initial perusal indicates a lack of water quality considerations; they are mentioned in passing several times. I did like the effort to estimate groundwater storage. One does not see that attempt made very often. But the statement on page 40 made me cringe:
Withdrawal from groundwater storage is similar to pumping from a reservoir and can result in the same type of problems relating to supply and demand.
It =might be wise to consult C.V. Theis' 1940 classic, The Source of Water Derived from Wells: Essential Factors Controlling the Response of an Aquifer to Development or one of my water-budget myth rants.
It will be interesting to see what develops and whether the more comprehensive planning study materializes.
"I just built it by guess and by God." - Indiana saying (means 'without planning')