Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Creative Solutions

We just heard some presentations on some creative solutions to the problem of our declining water supply. As has been continually pointed out today, this is not a water-limited area. We have plenty of water above-ground in the form of rivers, streams and rainfall (some 28 inches a year.) The problem is with our underground supply of water.

One possible solution being explored by Whitman County is recharging the Grande Ronde aquifer with treated flow from the North Fork of the Palouse River. A similar concept is being explored in Pullman with the South Fork of the Palouse River/Paradise Creek. This essentially is "banking" high flow in the winter underground for the months of high demand in the summer. This is more cost effective and more secure than a conventional reservoir. This approaqch has been used all over the Northwest, including Yakima and Walla Walla.

Of course, these solutions will require money, regulatory approval, and overcoming the inevitable environmental screaming. One commenter today referred to the possibility of contaminating the pristine "fossil water" of the aquifer. Oh brother.

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