For nearly 20 years, central Kentucky community leaders, water professionals, and many private citizens have known that we are faced with a water supply shortage. During this period, we have gone through several droughts that have been more of an inconvenience than back-breaking events.
This may be Mother Nature's wake up call that she will bring a really bad one to our doorstep at any time. Her warning needs to be heeded without further delay. Ask your Atlanta friends about this.
During much of this 20-year period, central Kentucky has debated between a Kentucky River solution and a Louisville Water Company pipeline solution to this problem. In the late 1990s the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council was firmly behind the Kentucky River solution rather than the LWC pipeline. Unfortunately nothing has been done since that time to carry out this solution.
Since the late 1990s, much has changed regarding the Kentucky River solution. The Kentucky River solution endorsed by the LFUC Council was to raise Locks 9 through 14 by four feet for a few million dollars. Experience since that time has shown that it is not simple to raise a lock nor can it be done for a few million dollars. Lock 9 is currently under stabilization, at its present elevation, for $15 million. This cost can be projected to the other locks. We are now back to square one.