Letters to the Editor
We have a serious challenge facing Grant County and our region – a declining aquifer system that threatens our future.
Over the past 15 years, the Columbia Basin Ground Water Management Area, or ‘GWMA’, has secured state ($7.64 million) and federal ($5.7 million) funding to conduct ground water research and implement projects to assess and protect ground water quality, availability, and help identify future supply options.
They’ve developed a comprehensive ground water and land use database, with a ‘hydrologic’ model that is being used to assist citizens and state and local government in understanding this critical resource, and will be an important tool in the pursuit of future water supply options.
But the GWMA needs local funding to do these things in the future. The four boards of county commissioners (Adams, Franklin, Grant and Lincoln) are seeking public input on the creation of a four-county “Aquifer Protection Area” to fund the Columbia Basin GWMA for a decade to fully utilize this significant public investment (a working ground water hydrologic model with an experienced technical and scientific team) to manage the declining resource and evaluate and seek future water supply options.
The respective boards of commissioners in each county must determine whether or not it’s in the public interest to conduct a public hearing on this issue. If after the hearing the commissioners determine that there is adequate public support for the ballot measure, then they would need to pass a resolution to place the measure on the General Election ballot in their county.
I respectfully request that our county commissioners conduct a public hearing on the creation of an “aquifer protection area” to fund the GWMA.