May 25, 2023 |

Photo – Rawlins Water Treatment Plant – Bigfoot99 file photo

The Rawlins city council has agreed to supply WYDOT with water.

During the May 16th city council meeting, a water agreement was made between the city and the Wyoming Department of Transportation. The agreement would allow WYDOT to take raw water from the North Platte River to use on road improvement and maintenance projects. Councilman Chris Weisenburg said he wanted residents to know the city was selling untreated water.

The appropriation allows the city to take 1,500,000 gallons of water from the North Platte River a day.

The agreement is effective until October 1st, 2024, and gives WYDOT the right to take 150,000 gallons a day from the river. According to city documents, the amount is 5% of the Union Pacific Railroad water rights that the city has owned since 1868. Councilman Weisenburg asked if the price of water has been adjusted for inflation.

Rawlins City Attorney Gwendolyn Wade said the rate is the same as what is paid for water use outside of city limits. The agreement document shows the price to be $5 per thousand gallons.

Attorney Wade explained that state law enables municipalities to sell water, that is typically restricted from sale, to government entities such as WYDOT.

The Rawlins city council voted unanimously to approve the water sale. The newly signed agreement allows the city to restrict the delivery of raw water to WYDOT in the event of an emergency or water shortage, but only to the same extent as it restricts water delivery to city residents.

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