The WSMPBA is an agreement between OWASA, the county, and the towns to define service areas and facilitate long-term planning. The requested amendment to the agreement would secure more direct access to OWASA's allocation of water from Jordan Lake, including access for nonemergency uses. The towns objected, in part, to the prospect of using the Jordan Lake allocation before a water supply shortage has been declared.
OWASA's response came Friday in a memo to Mayors Chilton and Kleinschmidt from Gordon Merklein, chair of the OWASA Board of Directors. Included with the memo was a draft resolution that Merklein says OWASA will consider. The draft resolution would make it OWASA policy that use of water from Jordan Lake or water from other communities would occur only during a declared stage 1 water shortage.
A few striking features of OWASA's memo and draft resolution:
- The OWASA directors have not altered their previous request. Instead, they reiterate the request and ask the towns to reconsider their decisions. Only if the towns agree to the request would OWASA adopt a policy not to access water from Jordan Lake and other communities except during a declared shortage.
- The resolution warns that OWASA may withdraw from the WSMPBA if the towns do not agree to the requested amendment.
- The resolution characterizes the towns’ objections to the requested amendment as an opinion "that some local elected officials have expressed" (an odd way to describe the official positions of the towns' governing bodies).