Dear Editor,

To The Commissioners:

Attached copy of letter to State Water Engineer, Jason King, dated Aug. 5, 2015, was never responded to: Please note BLM statement that “no groundwater withdrawal anticipated.”

Tens of thousands of gallons of Mina (groundwater) is being hauled daily, from two metered hydrants in Mina and one metered hydrant in Luning. Repeat trips are being made daily by 3,000+ gallon tank trucks, and a 5,000 gallon tank trailer.

It appears that the BLM was not strait forward with the actual facts in their re- port, in their zeal to approve permits. “All water would be purchased from commercial sources, and trucked to the site”. Where will this project find millions of gallons of water that is NOT groundwater? Someone needs to “mind the store”.

What can the Commissioners do to protect our Town water, in the fifth year of drought?

Immediate action seems to be vital, to protect all of us from extreme consequences of depleting our water source. Delay, and/or excuses are not sufficient.

If, only metered hydrants are being used, we should have access to data on quantities of water being taken. Please advise as to actions to be taken.

Thank you for your attention to this very critical issue.

The above referenced project has been approved by the BLM. In their “application review”, they make reference to water consumption for this project, only in vague, imprecise generalities.

On pg. 7 of this document, are estimates of quantities of water required for construction, and operation of this project. Item 18, shows a need for 3 million gallons for construction, (9.2 acre-feet) and one-quarter million gallons (.75 acre-feet) for washing panels each time. Please note that due to the very particular blowing dust conditions in the Soda Spring Valley, washing PV panels will be required at a greater frequency than in other locations.

Item 18 also references groundwater basins that have been “over appropriated” by State Water Resource Agencies, whatever that means, (another vague generality). No specific identified source is referenced in this project. A private well, one mile from Minas’ Town water well, has been said to be the source for the water for this project. Has the State Water Engineer reviewed the use of this well for this use? What is the impact of this water consumption on the viability of Mina, and Luning’s supply? Will a new application for water appropriation be required? How does the State Water Engineer determine the amount of water actually available in this Aquifer, especially after years of prolonged drought?

Very serious questions remain unanswered on this project. The ramifications of decisions made here are fundamental to the viability of these communities. There is no room for error misjudgment in this case. Water is the life blood of our communities, and should take precedence over transient ventures. Please keep the public advised as to the particulars of this questionable project, solid facts are paramount.

These solar projects have sprung up like weeds, only because massive Tax payer Subsidies have been available.

Without those subsidies, these projects would not exist. Look no further than the “Ivanpah” project, (32 million gallons of water sucked from the desert) for evidence of what some of these projects really cost. The output of this facility is slated to be “highballed” over the grid, and sold to Utilities in California. Should our water be jeopardized for that?

Very careful, objective review and analysis is so very essential here. I welcome innovation, and creative solutions in a changing world, but fundamentals must be respected.

Your attention to this gravely serious matter is appreciated.

Thomas A. Bergeron Sr.