Local News

Russell City Council Requests Water Release from Cedar Bluff Reservoir

Quinday City CouncilThe Russell City Council voted unanimously to formally request the release of a portion of the city's yearly allotment of water from Cedar Bluff Reservoir to help recharge Russell's Pfiefer well fields at a special meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The City of Russell owns 2,000 acre-feet per year of Cedar Bluff's water and can ask for a release whenever it is needed. The 2,000 acre-feet, which converts to more than 600 million gallons, can only be requested once per year, unless a smaller amount - such as only 1,000 or 1,200 acre-feet - is asked for.

City of Russell Public Works Director Arlyn Unrein says that is probably what the city will do - just start releasing the water at a certain rate and shut it off well before the full allotment is released.

Unrein says now is an opportune time to conduct the release, because after being approved by the state water office, the City of Hays performed a release of their own from Cedar Bluff just last week and combined with that water, Russell should have a better chance at getting more water into its well fields.

"I don't think there's a better time to do it," Unrein said. "We've got that first half all wetted down now. I've been in the stream bed a few times here in the last few days and it's wet and muddy. I just think it's a good time to release it. Half the distance has already been covered and is wet. I just don't think we're going to get a better opportunity to make the most out of the water we have."

No official timetable of when the release will start was decided at Tuesday's meeting, but Unrein said it should be within the next few days.

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