Planning Unit Announces Name Change
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February 28, 2011
The WRIA 17 Planning Unit announces that it has changed its name to the East Jefferson Watershed Council.
“How do you pronounce ‘WRIA’? Very few people know where or what WRIA 17 is, and this group does far more than plan,” noted City Councilman David King. “We hope this name communicates to watershed residents that the Council is taking an active role in finding solutions to water supply, water quality, and habitat issues.” The East Jefferson Watershed Council is a multi-stakeholder body that includes local business, agriculture, real estate, Tribal, non-governmental organization, citizen, and state and local government representatives.
Over the last ten years, the East Jefferson Watershed Council has created a groundwater monitoring network, purchased and helped local utilities use leak detection equipment, and sponsored riparian plantings and water quality workshops for horse owners, among other projects.
However, their biggest effort will come to fruition this year, when the United States Geological Survey (USGS) completes a groundwater model of the Chimacum Valley.
“The USGS model will inform water policy in the Chimacum Valley for years to come, if used correctly and wisely,” said Bill Graham, Resource Manager at Jefferson PUD #1. The model is a tool that will provide the Council and the community with a far greater understanding of the basin’s groundwater and surface water interactions, a necessary precursor to future water supply projects.
In addition to the basic model, the USGS will attempt to answer specific questions posed by the Council, such as:
- What is the relationship between seasonal (irrigation) well pumping and creek flows?
- If water use trends continue for the next 20 years, what would be the effect of that use on the creek?
- What would happen to the creek if a sewer is built in the Port Hadlock area?
- How should Jefferson County PUD #1 best use its various wells in the basin to meet demand while protecting the creek?
- Where in the Chimacum Basin, and at what time of year, could water best be discharged into the creek for maximum benefit during low flow times?
The East Jefferson Watershed Council will host an open house about the model and the answers to these questions at the Tri-Area Community Center on May 25, 2011.
For more information about the Watershed Council, please visit our new website at www.ejwc.org. While you’re there, check out the new logo designed by Sally Chapin. The East Jefferson Watershed Council selected the logo after a community design contest last year.