A dry May could put strains on city water capacity if water usage levels continue to be as high as they have been, the public works department warned the Kodiak City Council on May 20

Mark Kozak, the city’s public works director, told a council work session that above-average levels of water usage would strain Pillar Creek, the city’s secondary reservoir with the imminent work shutdown of Monashka Bay pump house happening soon.

Until a few days ago, city water usage was averaging around six million gallons per day.

“The first part of the work at new Monashka pump house requires us to shut that pump house offline for several days,” Kozak told the Mirror. “So during that time we will operate at Pillar Creek — and Pillar Creek’s pumping capacity is only 4 million gallons a day and up to yesterday we have been averaging a little bit over 6 million gallons day of water used. That’s the concern.”

Work is slated to begin the week of June 2. This includes a temporary shutdown of Monashka Bay pump house, Kodiak’s main source of water.

Pending a pre-construction meeting with the pump house contractors and depending on whether daily water usage continues at its current above-average rate, some fish processors might find it useful to voluntarily slow down their water-use capacity.

“Maybe there’s something that help us slow the flow down those few days while the Monashka pump house is offline. In the contract the maximum it can be is four days but … unless something does not go really well it will be a lot shorter than that.”

Kodiak Electric Association, which relies partially on water from Terror Lake for power generation, said that water levels were “in a good solid position” right now.

“What’s helping that a lot is the wind turbines working in the background helping to save water,” Darron Scott, CEO of KEA told the Mirror.

Scott added that if the current dry spell continued on for a long while “we’d definitely have issues.”

Terror Lake, however began the year roughly 40 feet high higher than at last year’s start, which helps levels now, Scott said.

No need to use the dreaded “drought” word any time soon, however.

“There’s plenty of water out at the two reservoirs right now. We’re not short on water,” Kozak said.

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