Here are the answers you NEED…

What is the role of the Mounds Lake Commission?

The Mounds Lake Commission will be a newly created government unit consisting of representatives from each of the impacted government bodies within Delaware and Madison counties. The role of the commission will be to oversee and direct the process to advance the Mounds Lake project. If successful the commission’s efforts will ultimately lead to the construction of Mounds Lake and the development of a public utility to finance the project.

As a recognized government unit, the Mounds Lake Commission will be subject to the same public transparency requirements as other government bodies such as town, city and county councils. The commission will have no taxing authority, but could utilize funds from the water utility for various purposes including maintenance and operation of the reservoir. A resolution and proposed ordinance are contained in the CED Community Report.

Is the need for water really an issue?

There have been multiple water resource studies completed over the last 10 years by various stakeholder organizations. These reports illustrate a need for additional water resources for central Indiana. Furthermore, the Mounds Lake project will be required to demonstrate a clear water need in order to secure the necessary permits from state and federal agencies. We look at this as a regional project and do not speak for any utility.

What’s the best solution to water supply in this area?

Although Central Indiana had diverse water supplies, it is also marginal. This diversification of the water portfolio reflects the fact that there is no single solution to water supply and growth in this portion of the state. Supplies are limited and, without new sources, economic growth may falter.

Is this an efficient way to meet the demands of future growth?

As growth and demand increases, conservation and demand management are becoming standard policy. To satisfy future demands in this part of the state either new surface water storage capabilities will need to be be built or well fields in other watersheds will need to be developed. The latter alternative will mean that water must be piped in from a distance.

Isn’t there enough water resources already to meet the future needs?

Hamilton and Hendricks counties are two of the fastest growing counties in the United States. Studies and reports have shown that the region’s surface water supplies are nearly fully developed and that net surface water use will likely exceed minimum stream flow requirements. Central Indiana’s surface water supplies will no longer be available to meet future water demand and groundwater will have to be used when new sources are needed. This will cause less groundwater to be available in case of shortage or drought. Managing the water sources now is imperative for the future of Central Indiana.

Isn’t reducing our consumption an alternative?

Any significant reduction of consumption would have to be done through water restrictions. This projected amount of reduction through restrictions would not be sufficient if the “drought-of-record” were to ever occur again.

Aren’t there other options available for providing water?

A study of alternatives will be required in Phase III to to demonstrate that Mounds Lake is the best solution for the areas water needs. This will take place prior to the permitting process in this phase. It has not been a focus of the project yet because earlier phases were not the appropriate stage for these tasks. A 2008 report (available on the website) estimates that this project will cost less and have less environmental impact than the other noted options.


How was the $400 million cost estimate determined?

The cost estimates came from numerous consultants, accounting professionals and engineers. Estimating each cost category has been a rigorous and thorough process. These estimates include the study of: relocating and replacing the various infrastructure; permitting and design costs; land acquisition, dam bridge and road construction; wetland mitigation; and a “risk-based analysis” addressing any subsurface environmental concerns.

What do the cost estimates include?

$125 million in dam construction
$ 95 million in land acquisition
$ 80 million in road and bridge construction
$ 60 million in utility relocation and replacement
$ 45 million in various mitigation projects
$ 35 million in potential subsurface environmental site cleanup

Estimates will be refined in the next phase of work. Estimates have been made on the high side for all budget line items.

What happens if the funding falls short?

The local communities will have no responsibility for the construction debt for the Mounds Lake project. The public elected officials that will serve as commissioners on the Mounds Lake Commission are not paid, by state code. The commission has no taxing authority, can’t commit taxing units to bonding and will need to find funding from outside grants, partnerships or revenue from sales of water to operate. In addition, many stakeholders have expressed interest in maintaining local control of Mounds Lake. This will allow local communities to control important operational issues and direct water utility revenues.

Will the dam hold water?

Yes. The Phase II engineering study examined this issue. Additional data will be collected in Phase III and if areas of concern are discovered that require some type of engineered control, they will be properly addressed.

Aren’t dams a thing of the past?

There are over 80,000 dam structures across this country. A quick google search finds reservoirs under design or construction in Georgia, Florida, Texas and California. There are several dams being removed dating from 30 years old to one from the 18th century. Most of the dams being removed are more than 100 years old and no longer needed.

Dams across the world provide billions of people drinking water, flood control and electricity. Dams will continue to be an important infrastructure component of growing regions for the foreseeable future.

Isn’t the reservoir Anderson’s only hope?

Anderson, as well as the other communities involved, best hope is in the people of the community. The teachers and the preachers. The visionary and the laborer. We live here and work here. Together, regardless of the Mounds Lake project, the impacted communities will do more than survive, we will thrive!

Would the reservoir guarantee an increase in recreational opportunities and tourism?

Quality of life and careful long term planning has been a focus from the early days of the proposed project. New trails, art and cultural opportunities and public access in all four communities is a high priority to all stakeholders and is a core value to the Mounds Lake project.