Rural Well Issue Not a Priority?
Gov. Jay Inslee recently outlined his priorities for the last weeks of the legislative session and the crisis concerning rural wells didn’t make the list! Legislators who represent rural Washington don’t agree with his priorities! The senate passed a bill to nullify the Hirst Decision, while the Democrat controlled House let the bill die. The bottom line is that our state leadership does not seem too concerned that you may never be able to build on your rural property! This is very disturbing to me since I see how it affects land owners and the economy very adversely.
I know landowners who purchased property with the goal of improving it before they retire, with plans to build their dream home, but because of the Hirst Decision, they are faced with the reality that they may never be able to build their home, even though they have much equity invested there. Other land owners in the investment mode have spent a great deal of money and effort to develop lots for sale but are now left holding the bag! Land sales have screeched to a halt.
This nonsense about restricting building permits is not really about lack of water. It is about stopping growth. Those factions of environmental groups who push this agenda have ignored real science in order to push an age old agenda. Think about it, when a rural home owner opens the tap and runs water down their drain, where does it go? Right back into the ground water where it came from! Does the water just disappear? The notion that we use up that resource and it disappears and is never available for use again is silly!
The DOE claims to have monitored wells in certain areas that have shown with additional use (new homes being built) levels of ground water has been affected because the pool is only so big, but I find it very hard to believe that down-stream flows are affected more by additional rural use than by the intense growth inside Growth Management Boundaries using publically available water sources. And yet Tribes and environmental groups continue the cry that “adding new rural wells could draw down fish-supporting rivers that already have low flows at times”.
For a chance to learn more about Spokane County efforts toward solutions regarding land use, in-stream flow water rights in the Little Spokane Watershed, water banking and updates on legislation, come to a meeting at Spokane Water Resource Center (1004 N. Freya Ave, Spokane) at 4pm on May 19, 2017.