Fact Check on Tidings Article February 22, 2020
Full disclosure, since I was singled out of dozens of people, I felt the need to respond. I’m also the publisher of the Ashland Chronicle. Carol Voisin
Background: Let’s be clear, Dan, Tidings 02/22/2020, the group that opposes the piping of the Ashland Canal is focused. We are focused on conserving water that increases supply; this is the most effective way to ensure our water viability. We are focused on a cost effective way to end the loss of 62 million gallons of TID water over the five–month irrigation season; our solution of repair and maintain remains the best value at $1.6 million rather than the staff solution of $3.5+ million. Finally, we remain concerned about the 84 fellow taxpayers and their families for property disruption over the course of two years, the loss of hundreds of trees, and the loss of wildlife; we provide an alternative that lessens disruption to humans and the environment. This is who we are, Dan, and we didn’t abuse any staff in our hundreds of hours of conversations with them, the council and mayor.
Below are three facts, Dan, that replace your vague generalizations.
Fact One: The current cement lining of the Ashland Canal is fifty years old with minimal maintenance and only 23% of that is in poor condition. Maintenance is the real issue. The solution is repair and maintain to conserve 62 million gallons of untreated TID water from May through October. This is the citizens’ alternative.
Fact Two: Bacteria found in the Ashland Canal is not an issue. The 2012 “Ashland Creek Bacteria Study”, pg. 40 states in its conclusions that the study did not identify a source of the E coli in Ashland Creek in its research. It also stated that more study is needed. This hasn’t happened. Remember that E coli is found just about everywhere, even in our own gut. I listened to and read a reliable source for my data on E coli, Julie Bonney. I encourage you to do the same. Bacteria is a red herring for justifying piping. Maintenance is the real issue.
Fact Three: The citizens’ solution of repair and maintain costs $1.6 million with an erosion curb; the staff solution is $3.5+ million for piping the entire canal. The benefit of both is conserving 62 million gallons of untreated water over irrigation season (May – October). Putting this in context, we use about 4-5 million gallons of potable water a day during this same timeframe. This is 600-750 million gallons of potable water over the irrigation season. The conservation of 62 million additional gallons of TID untreated water over this same timeframe provides 1% additional supply of untreated water for the summer. We also have Medford water (TAP) or 2.1 million gallons a day of potable water during these five months which serves as another secondary source of water. Maintenance of all water supply delivery systems is the real issue.
Dan, I must confess that I’m flattered that you noticed me out of dozens of citizens who spoke for the citizens’ option even though you didn’t quote me accurately.
Carol Voisin, Ashland