In May of 2003 the Board of Directors of the Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce adopted a “Position Paper on Water Issues,” that would be a guideline for dealing with water issues in the county.
The position paper clearly pointed out a future need for additional water when considering historic population growth patterns, the need for lower cost water to agricultural users, and easing the need for rationing for current residents in times of drought. To develop additional water sources, the document points out the need for more conservation in our daily uses, an increase in storage by raising Lyons Dam, reactivation of additional off- stream storage facilities, piping drinking water as economically reasonable, conserving ditch water by guniting when necessary, protecting existing water rights, and developing and protecting ground water supplies.
The Chamber also suggested a regular meeting be held between all water agencies and groups involved with local water. During the Chamber´s Candidates Night, two candidates most closely espoused those concerns expressed in the Chamber´s position paper. Responses by incumbent Gary Walter and candidate Jim Costello put them very near the thoughts of the Chamber.
In order for the Chamber to support any candidate they must receive a positive vote of the Board of Directors and there needs to be a 2/3 majority before that recommendation can be given. In ballot form, Directors voted and Walter and Costello were the only two candidates to garner a 2/3 majority. So even though there are three seats to be filled on the TUD Board, the Chamber´s support can be for only Mr. Walter and Mr. Costello.