The City of Brookings has received a number of inquiries concerning possible drought conditions affecting the City’s water supply. As of August 18th, water flow was at 56 cubic feet per second (cfs) and withdrawal at 2.2 cfs.
The Brookings Municipal Code section regulating water use curtailment provides for dual triggering mechanisms; the flow of water in the river and the amount of water used. Voluntary curtailment is triggered when river flows drop below 100 cfs and water withdrawal is above 4.5 cfs. Mandatory curtailment may be implemented when river flows drop below 80 cfs and water withdrawals exceed 4.5 cfs.
The City has experienced other periods in the last few years where river flows dropped below 80 cfs, but water usage remained well below 4.5 cfs during those periods as well.
City water is extracted from the Chetco River aquifer by a Ranney collector, which essentially consists of eight large perforated pipe arms that extend outward 28 to 30 feet below the bottom of the river.