FISHERS – Citizens Energy Group has announced plans to construct a reservoir adjacent to the Geist Reservoir that will provide up to 25 million gallons of water per day.

Proponents of the Mounds Lake Reservoir said the announcement on Tuesday will not affect their plans to go forward with a Phase 3 feasibility study.

Company officials indicated a study they conducted and one done by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce shows the central Indiana region will need an additional 50 to 80 million gallons per day in the next 25 years.

To be known as Citizens Reservoir the former quarry will be 230 feet deep on 88 acres and the project will cost an estimated $20 million. The company is purchasing the quarry from Irving Materials Inc. (IMI).

Jim Willman, vice president of water operations for Citizens, said he didn’t know if the Fishers project affects the Anderson proposal directly.

“From our standpoint we’ve been focused on water resource planning for many years,” he said. “Since the 2012 drought we have accelerated our plans.”

Willman said the company has been looking for options like the new reservoir and new groundwater sources of water.

“The Anderson plan has never been in our long-range plan,” he said. “We can implement this project within our normal capital budget.”

The Mounds Lake Reservoir proposal is to construct a 4,100-acre lake that would extend from Anderson to Yorktown. The estimated cost is $440 million.

Rob Sparks, spokesman for the proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir, said Tuesday the region will continue to grow and there will be a need for water resources.

“The Mounds Lake Reservoir is still in the mix,” he said of future water needs for the region. “The region needs a long-term solution.”

Sparks said the proposed Phase 3 feasibility study for the Mounds Lake Reservoir should be undertaken once the Mounds Lake Commission, which will include elected officials from Anderson, Chesterfield, Daleville and Yorktown, is formed.

He said the new reservoir announced by Citizens Energy Group has been considered for the past two years.

“That will have some impact on future needs,” Sparks said. “Overall we still continue to have a need to develop future water resources.”

Sparks noted that the Citizens Reservoir, which will hold 2.7 billion gallons per day in a former IMI quarry on Olio Road, is only a 90-day supply of water.

“The Mounds Reservoir will always provide 60 million gallons of water per day because of the ability to replenish.”

Citizens officials said the new reservoir will store the overflow from the Geist Reservoir and can provide up to 25 million gallons of water per day.

Sheryl Myers, spokeswoman for Heart of the River, a coalition opposed to the Mounds project, said the new reservoir announced by Citizens is a part of their 30-year plan.

“The Mounds Reservoir continues to be 20th on their list of options,” she said. “There is no sense in bringing on a new reservoir. The water may not be needed for 30 years.”

Myers said the announcement by Citizens makes the position of the opponents much stronger.

“The final authority is Citizens Energy,” she said. “With no guaranteed customer, the Mounds project shouldn’t go to a third phase.”

"We are aware of the Anderson reservoir and have had conversations with their team," Jeff Harrison, chief operating officer for Citizens Energy Group, said.

“Currently this has a major impact to the Citizens water plan, so the Anderson reservoir is not currently a part of our plan,” he said. “This will meet our needs for the next 25 years.”

Harrison said a big plus for the site is that the quarry has already been dug by IMI.

“We economically stake options up. This is one of the most economical options for water supply,” he said.

"Currently there are no plans to develop the property surrounding the quarry site,” Harrison said.

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