On August 15th, Jeff Boyer, Suzanne Moore, Ginny Campiola, Marian Westerberg, and Dale Valvo attended the Board of Selectmen meeting in Salem. Our goal was to show our concern of the extremely low water level and to find out what actions the town is planning both in the near and distant future.
Roy Sorrenson, the municipal services director, gave a power point presentation updating the BOS on the status of the lake, water level, conservation efforts, etc.. His data showed that getting "ahead" of the drought with mandatory watering restrictions has helped, but the level of conservation did not have the impact he hoped for. He said they have issued “warnings" but no fines as they feel people are being responsive. Roy pointed to the impact of the drought all over southern NH and basically stated they were doing a "good job". He concluded with a picture of the lake in the 1996 drought with the lake at that 210 level. He then stated the long-term study of Salem water issues HAS been approved and funded by MTBE money and that DES is deeply involved.
Dale Valvo did get a chance to speak and thanked the BOS for their actions. He introduced the Salem board members and pointed out we were there for cooperation and support. He pointed to the current condition of the lake--low water, rocks, pulling boats and acknowledged that this is not a main concern of Salem, but pointed out that the lake will go to 214.5-215 and will need 500MG to recharge and that will take snow, wet spring and told them we were concerned that the lake will not fully recharge to 220 by next May and asked what they would do then? He also stated that our position is we would like to see withdrawal limited to 217 feet which is 350 MG, some 150MG fewer than will be taken this year. He then said we are anxious to be part of this long-term study, which Roy said would be completed next spring.