April Sauer

In 2003, my husband, Chris Riley, and I built our log home from reclaimed barn timbers on a 10-acre lot. We put up all of the fencing around the property by hand, planted numerous trees, including an orchard of fruit and nut trees. We have approximately an acre under organic and non GMO vegetable cultivation. We selected this site with due diligence and care knowing this was going to be a long-term commitment and relationship that we have with the land. The quality of the water was also a crucial element in our selection criteria.

On 25 June 2023, we were returning home from cycling along Division and South River Roads and were heading south on CR 700W going over Granville Bridge. We both noticed a large pipe extending out over the Wabash River bank discharging a significant amount of water. To that point, June 2023 had been dry, almost drought conditions.

We couldn't figure out the reason a farmer would be pumping water into the river. As we continued south on CR 700W, we were passed by "Cascade" well drilling equipment leaving the field south east of Granville Bridge where the test well is located.

As noted above, June 2023 had been rather dry and we were watering our vegetable garden with two garden hoses on 25 June after we completed our cycling. Historically when we watered our garden, we were also able to shower, do laundry, and other chores requiring water from our 165' deep residential well. This was not the case on 25 June 2023. I went to take a shower and we didn't have any water. We shut off the sprinklers in the garden and waited for several hours.

Confused and agitated, we started to investigate Cascade and any well drilling in this location.

Through our searches, we found out about the League of Women Voters of Greater Lafayette's "Pipelines, Progress, and Policy: A Public Forum on Water Use and Transfer" (https://leaguelafayette.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=460858&module_id=571808) that was held on 26 June 2023 at the Tippecanoe County Fair Grounds. This was the first that we had heard anything about the LEAP project in Lebanon and the unfathomable amount of water that was being "proposed" to be pumped > 35 miles south to Lebanon, Indiana.

Our 10-acre homestead is one mile away from the first test well. We were negatively impacted with the first test well discharge test.

How badly will we be impacted if the proposed pipeline is built? Subsequent tests on the two other test wells were performed in the fall and winter when the commercial agricultural fields were not being irrigated and do not reflect peak water draw from the Teays River Aquifer. We have invested 20+ years of blood, sweat, and tears in creating what we thought was our "slice of heaven." We now feel like it may be a nightmare.

-- April Sauer