The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.
Oct. 7, 1918
ASHLAND PLANS ENLARGEMENT OF WATER SYSTEM
The alternative of facing a deficient water supply during the summer months year after year, with but few exceptions, or of installing notable improvements at the fountain source in order to acquire an abundant storage during the dry season, is one which will probably be decided upon here in Ashland before the advent of another year.
As a matter of fact, the term “scarcity” is a misnomer. On an average the year around there is an excess of water. Conservation is what is needed to husband the supply, and in line with definite plans supported by City Engineer Walker recently, the municipality will doubtless tackle the question, which is not a problem, but simply a work of construction in accordance with a specific survey made, this preliminary being supplemented by data as to extent and costs. Reservoir storage way up at the head of the watershed is recommended. The objection heretofore has been one of damming the canyon, fearing flood complications. Solidity, however, means safety, and the plan as now outlined contemplates going clear up near the crest of the divide between Ashland and Wagner peaks and utilizing a natural basin. With some exceptions, most of the material for the main construction is available in the vicinity of this basin which in ages past was a pond, the bed of which would form the basin of the reservoir.
The engineer’s figures on a reservoir of 100,000,000 gallons storage capacity, 700 feet long, 600 feet wide, and 50 feet high, are in the neighborhood of $70,000, and one 35 feet high, storing 40,000 gallons, would cost about $25,000. The reservoir of minor height could be added to in future years as demands indicate. Many other details as to additional supply afforded by 40,000,000 gallons have been submitted to the council by the engineer, one phase being that this increase would more than double the amount now available during the dryest time of the year. In other words, 1,300 homes would each be provided with an additional 1,000 gallons of water per day every month during the season when it is most needed.
As a venture financially it is figured that the earning of the system could be depended upon to meet all additional expense withing a fixed period. Incidentally the municipal light plant would benefit by the improvement, and consequently this public utility should bear its portion of the outlay.
For eight months in the year the flow in Ashland creek is at its crest, for two months the volume is moderate, and the remainder of the year the water has to be conserved to meet irrigation needs and domestic supply for 5,000 people.
For more stories like this, check out “The Archive,” a weekly podcast series at mailtribune.com/podcasts