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CLEARING THE AIR ABOUT WATER PLANS

Dear Readers;

I have received several requests for simple definitions to distinguish the Water Plans discussed here, as a result of City of Yelm’s endeavors.
I hope the following definitions help:

“WATER SYSTEM PLANS” (WSPs) are planning and engineering documents that identify present and future needs and set forth a means of meeting those needs. Water system plans are required for public water systems as delineated in chapter 246-290 of the WAC. Then a water system plan is a document that details how the existing water rights can be used to serve X number of people, or x+1 number of people.

WATER MITIGATION PLANS are planning documents that describe actions to be taken that will offset predicted impacts of using the water. For example, pumping from a well may have impacts on a stream with a closure or in-stream flows. An applicant asking for a water right from the well will likely have to come up with some method of compensating for the impact to the surface water body. An example would be the City of Lacey’s applications for water rights from wells that will have an impact on Woodland Creek, which happens to be closed. Part of their mitigation plan is to use some of the LOTT reclaimed water that is produced at their satellite plant just up the road and discharge that into the ground at Woodland Park along Pacific Ave. This is predicted to recharge the aquifer at a rate equal to or greater than the predicted impacts from pumping the wells.

For the most part, mitigation plans are generally site specific and action specific. The concept is simple compensate for impacts. The implementation is usually very difficult and expensive.

IN FOLLOW-UP
Now that you understand that, Yelm is requesting the issuance of a Phase 1 and Phase 2 water right that would total approximately 942 acre feet of new water.”

942 acre feet of ‘new” water would more than double Yelm’s annual DOE 2009 water allocation of 796.66 acre feet, impacting the aquifer big-time. The city is requesting a 118% increase to their water allocation.

ARE THERE PLANS AFOOT TO DOUBLE THE SIZE OF THE CITY? HMMM!

Well, pun intended:
On September 28th, the Yelm City Council approved another $76,000 to be paid to Golder and Associates “for work associated with updating the 2008 Mitigation Plan,” according to the city’s Staff Report. The Staff Report requested the 118% increase to Yelm’s annual water allocation. The Mitigation Plan will have to discuss
actions to be taken that will offset predicted impacts of using that much water.

So a water system plan and water mitigation plan are two distinct documents.

Posted by Steve on October 13, 2010 at 6:23 am | Permalink

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