The Waldport City Council has given City Manager Nancy Leonard permission to go after more water to better insure that the town won’t outgrow its drinking water supply anytime soon.
The council said Leonard will continue to negotiate with the Tryon Family that owns twenty acres of valuable watershed up Southworth Creek, just east of Waldport. Should Leonard successfully win a sales agreement from the family, it will virtually triple the amount of water the city will be able to deliver to meet current and future needs.
Waldport gets most, if not all of its water from Eckman and Weist Creeks. Both sources have served the city well. But when you figure in future growth and the higher water demand it will bring, Leonard says Eckman and Weist Creeks won’t be able to keep up. Years ago, Leonard shepherded the city’s purchase of additional water rights on another creek, Southworth Creek, so when the city needs the water, it’ll be there. It’s like “water banking” or having an aquatic savings account.
However, when Leonard recently learned that the Tryon Family had put lands next to the creek up for sale, she asked them to sell the city the twenty acres that surrounds the creek – to ensure that the lands will not be disturbed with homes or other ground disturbances, thereby preserving Southworth Creek’s high water quality.
Price of the acquisition has yet to be worked out but Leonard said she’s confident the city will benefit greatly from the final deal with the Tryon Family. She said she hopes to have good news to deliver to the council and to the community in the next few weeks.