Thursday, September 22, 2005

Contentious Meeting Concerning Water Resource Area 17 in E. Jefferson & Clallam Counties

The Port Townsend Leader OnLine

There was a lot of applause at the Sept. 20 presentation on proposed new water rules, but it wasn't for the Washington Department of Ecology. DOE staff members were continually peppered with questions and challenges during meeting at Fort Worden State Park attended by more than 100 people, most of who were visibly frustrated. Tuesday night's meeting was an informal presentation on Water Resource Area 17 (WRIA 17), which includes East Jefferson County and part of Clallam County. The rules don't affect existing water rights, but they do limit the availability of water for those seeking water rights in the future. Dave Nazy, a DOE hydrogeologist, tried to give an overview of how the agency has analyzed the amount of groundwater and surface water available. People were as upset with DOE's underlying data methodology as with its recommended policies.