On the February, 13, 2009 blog entry, I wrote:
“The Dept. of Ecology says Yelm pumped 756 acre feet per year (afy) of its allocated 796.66 afy in 2008. An acre-foot is about 325,000 gallons which, for the City of Yelm, is about enough water to serve 3.5 homes for a year, according to the Dept. of Ecology. Doing the basic math then, the City would be over their limit with the current water rights they hold withdrawing an additional 40 acre-feet (796.66-756 = 40.66 underage).
That 40 acre-feet X 3.5 homes per acre-foot = 140 homes.”
THAT WAS OVER A YEAR AGO!
In March, 2010, the Dept. of Ecology says Yelm pumped 810.42 afy of its allocated 796.66 afy in 2009. That is 13.76 afy over the city’s annual allocation and 54.42 afy over the 2008 amount pumped. Doing the math with an acre foot serving 3.5 homes, that means the city hooked-up the equivalent of 190.47 homes in 2009, as a comparison to the additional water used year-over-year – either that or average usage increased, or both (3.5 homes/acre foot X 54.42 afy).
Knowing that approved building permits issued several years ago would eventually have to be hooked-up to the city and the city was near their pumping maximum in 2008, why did the city keep accepting building applications in 2009, full well knowing they did not have the water to support those new hook-ups?
Additionally, the city has had an expired Water System Plan (WSP) for almost a year and a half, resulting in a Yellow Operating Permit from the Dept. of Health. The city is supposed to update their 6-year Water System Plan every six years. Quoting the city’s own website, “an update to the Citys 2002 Water System Plan” was supposed to be done in 2008. The public only saw the Draft Water System Plan covering 2009-2015 in June, 2009. About 20% of the time of the 6-year Draft of the city’s WSP has passed by AND still we have no approved city Water System Plan.
Don’t you find that odd? HMMM!
Ecology reports they are are jointly working with Health and the City of Yelm “to help Yelm find ways to further conserve on water use (by primarily addressing irrigation uses by Yelm businesses) and to further evaluate ways Yelm might be able to get more water added to their current portfolio to address the expected demands over the next couple of years” as Ecology seeks voluntary compliance because Yelm exceed their annual legal limit for 2009. Most businesses along Yelm Ave., including Safeway, did not irrigate their street-front grass strips, leaving a brown drive through Yelm last summer. Will any further irrigation cut-backs offset the acre-feet-per year overage?
“Just to cause chaos” is now the mantra about anyone who has shined the light on this issue, as Mayor Harding stated in his Mayor’s Column in this week’s NVN. Yet, the true cause of the city’s water urgency (over pumping allocated water & no approved WSP) lies at the feet of city leaders’ actions, or inactions.
– DOES ANYONE WISH TO ASK THE BUILDING PERMITS QUESTION?
– WHAT ABOUT YELM’S OVER-PUMPING OF ECOLOGY’S ANNUAL WATER ALLOCATION?
– AND WHAT ABOUT 20% OF THE TIME PASSED-BY FOR THE 6-YEAR WATER SYSTEM PLAN COVERING 2009-2015, AND STILL THERE IS NO APPROVED WATER SYSTEM PLAN?
WHERE IS YOUR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING ON THESE CRITICAL QUESTIONS?
DOES SILENCE FROM THE PUBLIC, YELM BUSINESSES AT CHAMBER FORUMS & THE NVN ON THIS URGENT ISSUE EQUATE COMPLICITY?
OR MERE ACCEPTANCE OF THE CITY’S ACTIONS?