Let's Put Water Claims To The Test

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Editor:

Finally we're going to get scientific.

Two opposing theories have been put forth. Star Valley (LFR) claims that pumping the Tower Well at a rate of 300,000 gallons a week will dry up the Sky Run Well in eight months. Payson says, "poppycock." That is what's called a testable hypothesis. It's really pretty simple: Keep pumping and check the Sky Run Well on March 1, 2008.

The stakes are credibility; winner takes all.

In reality, I suspect that the most noticeable thing that will go on between now and then will be a whole lot of backpedaling. Watch and see.

The backpedaling will start when someone points out that the Tower Well was actually tested by pumping at the rate of 168 hours a week and not a single well owner reported a problem -- let alone going dry. This current test will be for nine hours a week; that's only 5 percent of the previously reported pumping rate.

Ah, but the counterargument is that you can't keep it up for eight months. "Sustainability" is the word of the day. That's where the fancy equations come in to cloud the issue. The beauty of the eight-month test is that we can use actual data to check the equations to see if their predictions are really true. That's scary if you're playing with smoke and mirrors. So, my bet is that the backpedaling will intensify.

But, what if Payson is wrong? Eight months from now, Star Valley will already be pumped totally dry.

This brings up another interesting aspect of this winner-take-all credibility test. Payson was willing to put its money where its mouth is. Payson is so sure they are right that they were willing to become Star Valley's water provider and guarantee them their water supply. I suppose that the equivalent would be for LFR to refund all of Star Valley's money if the Sky Run Well remains wet for the next eight months.

Finally, we are going to get scientific. The test has already begun.

Lynn Godfrey, Payson

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