Of McPherson’s Board of Public Utilities’ 12 operating wells, eight could become unusable by as early as 2060.
Tim Maier reported to the board on Monday on the decline in water depth for all wells during the course of the last year, with McPherson wells losing an average of 3.5 feet per year.
Maier noted the effects of the drought on the wells, with 2012 holding one of the lowest recorded rainfalls in years at 18 inches, while 2011 had 24 inches of rainfall, and 2010 had 31 inches.
Maier said BPU already is discussing different methods to avoid reaching an inoperable state with McPherson wells.
“We need to work on additional supplies to ensure McPherson has a long supply of water,” Maier said.
Maier said plans are being made for the future, but the current concern is the cost associated with any proposed plans. Maier said more details will be released as discussion occurs.
2012 energy consumption and sales were reported to be largely unchanged from 2011, with a 0.95 percent increase in energy sold and a 1.85 percent increase in revenue.
Maier reported residential, commercial and rural customers consumed less energy in 2012, with residential energy use decreasing 5.9 percent, commercial use decreasing 3.8 percent and rural use decreasing 9.2 percent. Industrial energy consumption increased 3 percent in 2012.
Maier said transmission charges saw a significant increase in 2012, going from $4,785,095 in 2011 to $6,018,544 in 2012 — a 25.78 percent increase. Maier said the increase is paying for transmission lines being built