Editorial: Anacortes: Taking water away from the people so they can sell it
by Pearl Rains Hewett
TAKING WATER AWAY FROM THE PEOPLE SO THEY CAN SELL IT
The amount of economic impact, buying, selling, wheeling, dealing, restricting, mitigating, storing, trucking and taking of private water rights, under Appointed WA State DOE Water Rules, ALMOST defies comment or RATIONAL understanding.
Why should we worry about the DOE Dungeness Water Rule?
|By Art Shotwell|
|September 14, 2010|
|The City Council has okayed a 30-year contract to sell as much as 5-million gallons a day of city water, about a quarter of the current city deliveries, to Tethys Enterprises Inc., based in Everett, for use in a proposed bottling plant.To put it in prospective and remember DOE is the WATER CONTROLLER of WA State.
One council member said “I don’t think we know what’s going on here.” another said “It’s a way to get land back when the Samish Indian Nation gets 14 acres of their (city) land put into trust” Than all 6 members of the Council present at Monday night’s meeting voted in favor of the contract
WHY in Anacortes are they taking SKAGIT RIVER water (as much as 5-million gallons a day) away from the people, property owners and developers and selling it to A PRIVATE COMPANY TO provide jobs in Everett AND collect $$$$ for the water?
In Skagit County, UP SKAGIT RIVER, Mount Vernon they are denying, development, building permits because private property GETS NO WATER, NO WATER RIGHTS, NO NEW WELLS ETC.
So the rational is? Skagit County is DEPRIVING, UP SKAGIT RIVER, Mount Vernon PEOPLE OF ALL WATER (say as much as 5-million gallons a day) AND letting it ALL run down stream to Anacortes.
Anacortes in turn is very happy to have 55 million gallons of water rights a DAY. And they sell water to the Skagit County PUD.
The private property owners and developers of SKAGIT COUNTY, are VERY UNHAPPY to have ZERO WATER RIGHTS. “NO DUH?”
Anacortes Public Works Director Fred Buckenmeyer had advanced the idea of trucked water to rural homes (UP SKAGIT RIVER) as early as March with the support of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. In past years, Buckenmeyer said at least two property owners were turned down when they asked for the option to import water to their property and store it on site.
“The PUD would be in support of any reasonable alternative for mitigation that’s going to allow people to build on their property”
Remember DOE is the WATER CONTROLLER of WA State AND THE DOE DOES THE ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT FOR “ALL WATER RULES” (LIKE THE DUNGENESS WATER RULE)
How does DOE’S economic impact statement of “THE SKAGIT RIVER WATER RULE” IMPACT to the UP SKAGIT RIVER, Mount Vernon private property owners and developers in SKAGIT COUNTY?
The county’s current code does not forbid trucked water, and each use would be approved on a case-by-case basis, commissioners wrote.
The cost of on-site water storage is significant: between $18,000 and $24,000 for a system, which does not include the cost to truck in water at regular intervals.
What is the cost, economic impact on Mount Vernon private property owners and developers to buy water from the PUD and to truck water BACK UP THE SKAGIT RIVER (say as much as 5-million gallons a day) to right back to where it came from?
Remember? DOE is the WATER CONTROLLER of WA State AND DOES THE ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT FOR “ALL WATER RULES” (LIKE THE DUNGENESS WATER RULE)
I REPEAT The amount of economic impact, buying, selling, wheeling, dealing, restricting, mitigating, storing, trucking and taking of private water rights, under Appointed WA State DOE Water Rules, ALMOST defies comment or RATIONAL understanding.
“Whiskey is for drinking, WATER is for fighting over”
Pearl Rains Hewett
Mayor Dean Maxwell, in a message to the Council, said “Should Tethys proposed development move forward to fruition, the economic benefits and job creation would be long lasting and far reaching for all of Skagit County.” A bottling plantcould provide as many as 1,000 jobs at salaries as high as $59,000 a year.A bottling plant, for soft drinks, teas, beer or other food manufacturing, would probably be built on 30 acres on March Point. The plant could be as large as 1-million square feet in size.
All 6 members of the Council present at Monday night’s meeting voted in favor of the contract. Only Kevin McKeown was absent, but the Mayor said McKeown sent a letter of support to him.
Tethys is described on Linked-In as “an investment and resource management firm with specific expertise in research based economic development models. Tethys identifies unique local/regional resources that can be leveraged in specific industries to create a superior competitive position. Tethys acquires resource rights and property and builds state of the art manufacturing facilities for clients.”
The city of Everett earlier this year turned down a similar proposal by Tethys. That proposal ended when Tethys refused to agree to a provision linking water to a certain number of jobs. In an April 12 letter to Tethys, Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said he had “questions about whether your proposal truly promotes the city’s long term best interests.”
Maxwell said “There is really no downside to this contract,” implying there is no need to require jobs. The city stands to earn as much as $8,000 per month in water useage fees as well as substantial income with the construction of a huge building inside the city limits.
Anacortes is currently in the process of upgrading it’s water treatment plant. The city owns water rights of 55-million gallons per day on the Skagit river and currently delivers, on average, 21-million gallons per day.
The request to supply additional water for a bottling plant comes on the heels of a recent city request for residents to conserve water by cutting consumption by ten percent. “The flow level of the Skagit River has fallen below the minimum required for habitat protection and is expected to remain low for several days,” according to the undated news release on the city’s Web site, which was apparently posted last month.
ANACORTES THE WATER UTILITY
The City owns and operates a regional water supply system which supplies an average of 21.4 million gallons per day to
approximately 56,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The Water Utility provides the entire domestic
water service for all residential and commercial customers in the City and residential and commercial retail customers in unincorporated portions of Fidalgo Island. The Water Utility also provides the water supply for four governmental wholesale customers (the City of Oak Harbor, the Town of La Conner, Skagit County Public Utility District No.1 (“Skagit PUD”) and the Swinomish Utility Authority) and two industrial customers (oil refineries owned by Tesoro Northwest Company (“Tesoro”) and Shell Puget Sound Refinery (“Shell”)).
The City’s sole source of water comes from the Skagit River. The Skagit River Basin is the largest river basin draining into Puget Sound, covering approximately 3,100 square miles, including portions of Whatcom, Skagit, and Snohomish counties and the province of British Columbia.
The City believes it has adequate water rights and water supply to meet the needs of its customers over the next 75 years.
In 1996, the City entered into a Memorandum of Agreement regarding utilization of Skagit River Basin water resources for
instream and out of stream purposes (the “MOA”) through 2046. The parties to the MOA include the City, Skagit PUD,
Skagit County (the “County”), Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (“Swinomish”), Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, Sauk-
Suiattle Indian Tribe, State Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) and State Department of Fish and Wildlife. Under the MOA,
the parties to that agreement committed to cooperative efforts to address ongoing issues regarding water resources within the
Skagit River watershed. The MOA was to provide in part a mechanism for the coordinated management of water resources
in areas described by the County Coordinated Water System Plan (“CWSP”) to meet the out of stream water needs of the
parties and public water purveyors within the County.
The MOA confirmed the following City water rights.
(A) City Water Rights Not Subject to Lower Skagit River Instream Flows: 85 cubic feet per second (cfs) (54.94 mgd) as
comprised in the following:
(1) Certificate #C-709 (February 14, 1963) which provides 70 cfs (45.24 mgd) for the “area served by the City of
Anacortes Water Supply System;” and
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]