Doesn’t storm water drain into the lake?
Storm water inflow to the natural lake that Palmer Lake indeed is, needs to be addressed. Historically, storm water flows entered the lake primarily from the West, but also to a limited extent from the East. Development and alterations to natural flows under the railroad tracks have altered these historical storm water flows. When it rains now, storm water no longer flows into the lake from surrounding hillsides, but rather flows North to the West Plum Creek Drainage (where is never used to go), and to a lesser extent South, to the Monument Creek Drainage, where county wide storm water management issues continue to arise. Restoration of the natural flow patters may take adding culverts and redirecting flows into the lake that have been blocked by development, roads or the railroad over the years. Although this issue has been considered we have not yet developed a specific plan to redirect the water mostly due to time and budget issues. We are looking for expertise to help us develop a solution.
Is there a plan for water acquisition?
Water purchases, water rights, and railroad water rights are all being addressed. We are currently in Water Court attempting to rekindle the old railroad right. This is a long process and our case is not scheduled to be heard until 2015. We have taken into consideration the fact that our only option may be to purchase water to fill and offset evaporation in the future.
What about lake-bed seepage?
We are currently in the midst of a geological study designed to give us an underground cross section of what is actually below Palmer Lake and what steps will be needed to ensure that any lake-bed seepage is held to a minimum. You can view the results of phase one of the study at: http://awakepalmerlake.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DUBY-REPORT-3-12-14.pdf
We will also be drilling 4-7 monitoring wells this Summer (approximately 30’ to bedrock), for additional soil samples and to complete our cross section. These wells will also assist in providing us the ability to measure the seasonal water flow in the future, a huge problem that must be resolved before purchased water is added to lake.
Is there any discussion on a smaller lake?
Surface area of a deep, smaller lake minimizes evaporation. The possibility has been broached that starting with a smaller sealed lake (possibly 25% of current surface area) may be feasible. After getting this established we can look to expand lake at a later date. The results of our study will determine where, when and if this is feasible.
Thank you for your questions, suggestions and interest. The Awake Palmer Lake group is derived of hardworking passionate volunteers. We are always looking for others to assist and lend expertise. We are holding a public meeting on June 21st, 2014 @2pm at the Palmer Lake Town Hall to discuss these and other issues pertaining to the lake.