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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Second Annual Potluck on the Point

Please hold Saturday August 7th at 6:30 pm open to come join us for our Second Annual Potluck on the Point.  Last year was a great success with great food and fun with your lake side neighbors.  The get together will be hosted by Mitch and Dana Moore at 2929 NE Loop Drive on Sand Point.

Plan to bring your favorite dish, appetizer, main dish or casserole and join us, with your neighbor and friends for an afternoon of fun. Watch your email for more details and be sure to mark your calendar today!

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Attend the July DLWID Board Meeting

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting will be held at City Hall Thursday July 1st at 6:00pm. 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; a specific proposal to address the requirement of balancing water inputs with outputs while managing summer time lake, representative form the City of Lincoln City and the Siletz Tribe will be present to answers your questions related to their plans to extract water from D-Lake to irrigate the golf course under an existing City water right on Rock Creek. The board will discuss its new plans perform an erosion study in support of the lake level decision and provide updates on the Septic Tank Revitalization program and the City’s effort to create a draft ordinance.

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

Agenda and Staff Report 2010-07-01
Meeting Minutes 2010-06-03

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Lake level talk continues to raise ire


The News Guard

Property owners from around Devils Lake have again turned out in force to express concerns about the idea of lowering the lake level during the summer as an erosion prevention measure.

Lakefront property owners packed into the offices of the Devils Lake Water Improvement District on Thursday, June 3, to oppose any alteration to the D River dam, which the district puts in place every year from April to October in an attempt to keep the lake level constant through the dryer summer months.

Current district policy is to set the dam at 9.53 feet, the maximum level permitted since a 2009 review by the Oregon Water Resources Department.

The district’s board of directors put the lake level issue back on the agenda for its June 3 meeting to discuss the findings of a depth study carried out by directors David Skirvin and Randy Weldon. Continue reading

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Lake users question water deal

Some ask: ‘What’s in it for us?’

The News Guard

Two meetings on either side of the weekend were host to very different reactions to a proposed deal between Lincoln City and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians that would allow the Tribe to use water from Devils Lake to irrigate Chinook Winds Golf Resort.

During a Monday, June 7, joint meeting, members of City Council and Tribal Council agreed the deal is a “win-win” – in sharp contrast to the concerns expressed at the Thursday, June 3, meeting of the Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID), where one audience member asked: “What’s in it for us?”
Continue reading

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June DLWID Board Meeting Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District held its June board meeting in their offices on Thursday, June 3, 2010.  The meeting was attended by approximately 30 interested parties. The board took no action to change lake levels.

Hot Topics.

2010-2011 Budget: The budget hearing occurred and only one person made a comment.  The board was asked to reconsider its decision not to update the Devils Lake Plan.  It was suggested that the plan be updated prior to the next budget cycle to establish a consistent set of priorities from year to year.  The 2010-2011 Budget passed unanimously.  There is a more detailed description of the budget in our report on the May Budget Committee meeting.

Lake Level: During the public comment period10 commented on lake level.  Many points were made by the public on this topic. In the past 4 years only 2 homeowners have spoken in favor of lower lake levels.  A petition was presented in 2009 where 21 signed to lower the lake from 10’ to 9’, many who signed that document have subsequently expressed their satisfaction with current lake levels, some were at the meeting and rescinded their signature. Residents have been willing to compromise with last year’s lake lowering and this year’s dam construction delay. Most commenter’s agreed that erosion happens but questioned if summertime lake level is the primary cause, the general consensus was that winter high water and winds have a much greater negative impact. A discussion occurred related to the district’s permit to store 1360 acre feet and the requirement in August and September for the lake inflow to match the outflow. The lake level should fall during the period due to evaporation and bank seepage.  Many asked the district to abandon the proposal to further lower the lake, and look for a solution that would provide a long term; year round solution to the erosion problem.

It then turned to the board discussion on the topic David Skirvin presented in great detail an updated survey that he and Randy Weldon performed by measuring various docks on the lake.

Joe Barnes motioned to leave the lake level at 9’5.3” until a erosion study has been completed and after public comment.  The motion failed from lack of second. The net result was by lack of new motion the lake level will remain at 9’.5.3”.

Siletz Tribe / Lincoln City Water Right: During the public comment period 5 commented on the Siletz Tribe Lincoln City water right.  Generally, commenter’s were concern about what his might do to the lake and what benefit there might be for the lake.  One person Paul Katen from from Salmon-Drift Creek Watershed Council spoke in favor of the Siletz deal indicating that residents need look at this with wide angle lens because when the water runs out on Schooner Creek the City will come to Rock Creek to expand capacity.  The Board decided to invite the city and tribe to the next meeting to make a presentation on the matter.  It was suggested that the meeting be constructed to permit public questioning of the participants.

The Erosion Study RFP: This topic came up several times in the end it appears the first draft of the document was deemed lacking. Areas of the project that should be expanded were discussed but the RFP was tabled until the next meeting. Continue reading

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Lincoln City Water Tradeoff

Newport News Times
By: Terry Dillman

City officials OK change of source for golf course

Lincoln City Council members unanimously agreed to a change of water source for the Chinook Winds Casino Resort Golf Course during Monday night’s council session that would provide water more conducive to growing grass on the greens, while reducing demand on the city’s water system during a peak time.

City Manager David Hawker recommended signing an agreement with the Siletz Tribe that would exchange treated water currently piped to the golf course from the city’s treatment facility for untreated water drawn from Devils Lake near the course, using the city’s Rock Creek water right. Hawker said the current arrangement – carried out under a 1991 agreement with the owners of what was then known as Lakeside Golf Course – “is not an ideal situation for either the golf course or the city.” Continue reading

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Lake Level – DLWID Perspective

By now you should be aware that changes to the summer time lake level are once again on the DLWID Board agenda.  We feel it is important to understand the Districts perspective on this matter and we are fortunate that our Lake Manager wrote extensively on the subject in the Managers Report.  It is unusual for us to post such a large excerpt; normally we would simply provide a link.  In order for there to be no misunderstanding or re-interpretation we included the text from the report pertaining to lake level in its entirety. We do feel compelled to note that in the fact checks and clarification section the report mentions some inaccurate statements made by a blog.  This was not as we have not yet reported on the water rights issue.  We’re still checking our facts; we do make mistakes but not this time.

Except from Devils Lake Manager Report 2010-06-03

Lake Level: Potential operational changes to the dam are being discussed at this meeting as additional information about lake level has been presented that represent that much less recreational water use benefit (e.g. deeper water at docks and shorelines) may be apparent at 9.53’ than assumed. Meanwhile many of the 22 property owners, that petitioned the District in 2009 for a lake level of 9.0 feet may be being impacted without substantial benefit to other lake users as previously assumed. Copies of that petition and subsequent flier distributed by an equally concerned homeowner opposing any change in the water level are available as reference items on our website. Working through these seemingly conflicting interests is thus to be addressed at the District’s next meeting. Public input will be afforded, but please limit your input to a concise statement at the beginning of the process, reserving additional comments should you have them for the end of the meeting.

Current Status: Currently (2010-05-27) the lake is sitting at 9.5’. The latest lake level measurements are available on our Water Quality page of the website ( Currently one section of the dam is open again at this time as rains have brought the lake up and fish passage issues are at least being attempted to be mitigated for by pulsing and/or section removal. This period of pulsing and/or whole section release will end after May 31st. The utilization of the dam from June through October, is thus open for consideration.

Current Considerations: It had been voiced in March 2010 meeting that if the dam was not installed in April, many properties would not have access to the lake for additional months. A motion was made to install the dam allowing for the new lake contractor the flexibility to allow for fish passage by means of leaving one section out of the dam providing the lake level could be maintained between 9.5’ and 9.3’ through June 1, 2010. At the time of the meeting (March 4, 2010) the lake level was 9.0’ above MSL. It was stated by a member of the audience that at this lake level many properties would not have access to the lake. Data were subsequently gathered by two of the District’s board members to investigate the potential impact on users at this same lake level of 9.0’. This presentation was made at the April 4, 2010 meeting and is available online at our website on the Project page under Lake Level (Director Presentation 2010-04-01 UPDATED). Some of the conclusions of that presentation were that nearly all of the properties surveyed the depth of the water when the lake was at 9.0’ was sufficient for drafting a typical pleasure craft. Where draft was insufficient at the far end of the canal on Thompson Creek, the addition of 6” of water to 9.53’ would have marginal benefit. For a complete review please revisit the slideshow from our website. Additionally a comprehensive review of this issue of the 2009 review is also available online (Staff Presentation 2009-04-01 ). What is presented below is new or additional information in no particular order that may be pertinent to the board discussion and decision on this issue along with some summary issues from previous meetings.

Water Rights: Rock Creek & Siletz POD: Irrigation of the golf course in our watershed came before City Council Monday 2010-05-24 for consideration. This is a proposal between the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians (CTSI) and the City of Lincoln City for selling water from the City’s existing water right on Rock Creek, a tributary of Devils Lake for irrigation of the Chinook Winds Golf Resort. This water right is held by the city, and as a municipal right it a permanent right, originally obtained by the town of Oceanlake. In fact, an existing, but unused pipe runs under Devils Lake that once served this community. As many will remember in 2006, the Devils Lake Water Improvement District, partnered with the Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council, USFWS, ODFW and the City to alter a dam at the current Point of Diversion (Approximately River Mile 3.2) for fish passage. The current proposal would be to add a second Point of Diversion (POD) on this certificated municipal water right. City Council voted unanimously to approve this agreement. Continue reading

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