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August DLWID Board Meeting Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District held its August board meeting in the District offices on Thursday, August 5th, 2010.  The meeting was attended by approximately 10 interested parties.

Hot Topics.

Executive Session of the Board: The Board of Directors held an Executive Session preceding their regularly scheduled meeting.

Lake Level Update: The Board discussed the current lake level as measured at the dam structure, being 8.03’ + 18” or 1.5’ equaling 9.53’ above MSL.  The discussion continued related to the staff gauges which currently read 9’ 3” or about 3” lower than the read at the dam.  It was reported that Greg Beaman and both from the Oregon Water Resources Department surveyed both staff gages the day previous, and they verified the readings for the dam’s base 8.03’ and top 9.53’.

Native Vegetation: It was reported that there has been strong interest in the Shoreline Planting Guide recently published by the District. Lakefront property owners interested in the guide are best to download the PDF version from the above link.  The board approved the printing of 100 copies primarily for contractors, nurseries, and government agencies that have all expressed interest in the guide. If downloading the guide presents a hardship please contact the District.

Save our Shoreline: The Save Our Shoreline campaign is currently recruiting property owners for projects to be planted this fall.  It was recently discovered from the Department of State Lands (DSL) that homeowners can apply for a free general authorization permit from DSL to plant aquatic vegetation to prevent erosion.  It was decided to incorporate this streamlined permitting process into the SOS program as soon as possible.  Some preliminary research has been done related to the use of special signage easily identifying properties involved in the SOS program.

Devils Lake Plan: A draft update to the Devils Lake Plan was presented to the board for their initial reaction and comment.  The board discussed their review of the draft and provided staff guidance on the document.  Look for more on this document in upcoming meetings.

Many More Topics: Several other items were discussed including reports by the Lake Manager on many important topics. Continue reading

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How to Participate in a Water Rights Proceeding

The City of Lincoln City and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians of Oregon made a presentation and answered questions related to the use of water from Devils Lake to irrigate the golf course at the June Devils Lake Water Improvement District board meeting.  The Board of Directors of DLWID passed a resolution by a vote of 4-1 indicating support for the proposal. Since that time, several residents have expressed their opinions on the matter; some support the proposal, some do not.  For the record, the Navigator has not taken a position on the proposal.

The proper place to express your opinion on this proposal is during the formal Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) application process.  In order for the City to meet the terms of their agreement with the Siletz Tribe they will apply for a change in the Point of Diversion (P.O.D.) of their existing Rock Creek water right. This process is described in OAR 690 Division 380 Water Rights Transfers.

In an attempt to simplify the process for interested parties we have summarized the required steps below.  The summary is necessarily general, and may not specifically address the facts in this specific application. Water rights can impact citizens in unexpected ways; that is why a formal process has been established.  If you feel, the City’s proposal will have an impact that is not being considered follow the steps below to provide public input into the process. Continue reading

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Attend the August DLWID Board Meeting

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting will be held in its offices above Radio Shack Thursday August 5th at 6:00pm.  There is an Executive Session planned from 5:30 to 6:00 before the regular meeting.  The best way to stay informed is for all lake front homeowners and interested parties to attend these important meetings.

There are many topics of importance to lake residents on this month’s agenda.  These discussions include; an update on the lake level and the operation of the D-River dam including the OWRD’s efforts to survey the lake staff gauges, a report on the high level of interest in the Native Vegetation Guide, and an open discussion on modifications to the Devils Lake Plan. The board will discuss responses to the RFP for an erosion study and provide updates from the City on the Septic Tank Revitalization program.  The Lake Manager will provide a report on progress relate to the Communications Plan and an update on the next phase of the Save Our Shorelines program.

Please follow the links below to access the latest agenda, staff reports and meeting minutes:

Agenda and Staff Report 2010-08-05

Meeting Minutes 2010-07-01

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Lake Level Update – 9.53’

If you have been watching the lake level over the past month or more you would have observed it to be very consistently the same height.  If you have been wondering what height, well according to Paul Robertson our Lake Manager the level has been holding right at 9.53’ above Mean Sea Level.  To ensure accuracy the District has measured each section of the dam to 18” above the concrete base.

In his letter dated March 5, 2009 OWRD Watermaster, Greg Beaman established this 18” maximum after having the concrete base surveyed at 8.03’ above MSL.  Therefore, the most accurate measurement of the lake level is at the dam structure, 8.03’ + 18” or 1.5’ equals 9.53’ above MSL.  Observations made this week show water barely flowing over the dam.

If you were a close observer of lake level, you would notice that the staff gauges currently read 9’ 3” or about 3” lower than the reality just described.  Indeed this discrepancy was only recently discovered; it appears that when the Oregon Water Resources Department re-established the height of the concrete base of the dam in 2009 they did not re-establish the accuracy of the staff gauges.  The OWRD has committed to perform a survey of the gauges sometime in the future.  It will take a bit of detective work to determine how many years of historical data were affected by this 3” discrepancy.  It is clear that all recent discussions about lake level have been influenced this variance.  Decisions have been made using a mixture of field observations and references of lake levels as observed at the dam and measured at the staff gauges.

The good news is that no matter what the recorded level has been the actual level as observed where the water meets land has been correct; and by all reports lake stakeholders seem to be satisfied with the result.  Watch for information on updated staff gauges at the DLWID Lake Level Report.

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Golf Course Water Plan Gets Nod

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 2:12 pm

Proposal would see greens irrigated with lake water

A proposal to use water from Devils Lake for irrigation at Chinook Winds Golf Resort has won the backing of lake planners, who say the deal will reduce the amount of synthetic fertilizer running into the lake.

At its July 2 meeting, The Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) Board of Directors voted by 4-1 to support the proposal after hearing Chinook Winds General Manager Sar Richards and City Manager David Hawker make the case for the deal.

The plan would see Lincoln City allow the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians to make partial use of a City-owned water right on Rock Creek – which flows into the south end of the lake – to withdraw nutrient-rich water from the north end. Continue reading

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July DLWID Board Meeting Report


The Devils Lake Water Improvement District held its June board meeting in the City Council chambers on Thursday, July 1, 2010.  The meeting was attended by approximately 30 interested parties. The meeting was attended by representatives of the City of Lincoln City and Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians of Oregon who made a presentation and answer questions related to use of water from Devils Lake to irrigate the golf course.

Hot Topics.

Executive Session of the Board: The Board of Directors held an Executive Session preceding their regularly scheduled meeting.  The purpose of the executive session was to consider the Manager Employment Agreement, the RARE program participant, the contracts for legal services, payroll services, and minute recording and the employment related performance of each of the personnel currently contracted for such services.

Tribal Use of City Water Rights: The City and the Siletz Tribe made a formal presentation on the agreement they had reached for the use of City water rights to irrigate the golf course.  Representatives attempted to answers questions which were submitted in advance as well as those presented at the meeting.   (see City and Siletz Tribe Answer Citizens Questions )  Follows is a brief background as provided by Devils Lake Water Improvement District.

Background:  “The City of Lincoln City owns water rights on many streams in the area including Rock Creek, Devils Lake’s main tributary.  This water right predates the city itself, stemming back to the days of Oceanlake when water was piped from up in the hills, under the lake, and into the village.  Since the 1980’s the Rock Creek certificated right has sat mostly idle, but the City of Lincoln City and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon have reached an agreement, pending the State of Oregon’s approval, to pursue some utilization of that water right for irrigating Chinook Winds Golf Course.  This would be in lieu of the current method of using chlorinated tap water which originates from Schooner Creek a few watersheds to the south.  However instead of using the water at the current point of diversion, three plus miles upstream of the lake, this proposal would create a new access point in the watershed, effectively in Devils Lake itself. “

Generally the presentation indicated that the golf course uses an average of about twelve million gallons of water per year, and the largest use is between mid August to mid September. This is during the City’s highest demand and lowest supply.  The golf course’s use represents nearly 2.5% of the total annual water demand, and about 5.5% of total demand during the peak season. Eliminating this demand would extend the water supply and plant capacity to about 350 additional customers. The lake water contains phosphorus, as well as nitrogen, both of which can be used by the golf course turf, which reduces the amount of fertilizer that needs to be applied, some of which would wash into the lake. In other words, nutrients would be removed, rather than added to the lake. The agreement will permit more water to flow into Schooner Creek which is a significant additional benefit. The parties consider the agreement equitable, and quite beneficial to both parties. Continue reading

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City and Siletz Tribe Answer Citizens Questions

City Manager David Hawker and Sar Richards from the Siletz Tribe were present at the DLWID meeting for a special order of business designed to answer questions related to the proposed change in the City’s Rock Creek water right that would all the use of lake water for irrigation of the golf course.  Mr. Hawker prepared a answer sheet in an attempt to address many of the issues.  Follows are the questions that were submitted in advance and the answers provided at the meeting. If your are interested in the water permits held or applied for by each party we have located each and made them available for your review at the following links.

Questions from DLWID Staff:

The agreement is for 0.5 CFS = 0.99173157 acre-foot/day or approximately 30 AF a month.  Is this correct?

  • This would represent the maximum as it is based on use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Actual use would be based on need watering need therefore less than this maximum. Continue reading

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