OLYMPIA - Public comment is being
sought by the state Department of Ecology
on a proposal to allow underground water
storage in natural aquifers.
in finding new water sources increases the
appeal of using existing water-bearing
formations, or aquifers, to store water,
said DOE water resources program
supervisor Joe Stohr.
an aquifer to store water essentially
turns it into a water bank," said
Stohr. "Aquifer storage and recovery
offers a safe, reliable way for some
communities to provide enough water for
their growing populations."
be artificially injected into an aquifer
during times of surplus, such as fall and
winter, and recovered during times of peak
water needs or during emergencies such as
water shortages, Stohr said.
ago state legislators expanded the
definition of reservoirs to include water
stored in naturally occurring, underground
geologic formations, according to a DOE
an advisory group comprising
representatives from water utilities,
consulting firms, academic institutions
and local, state and tribal agencies to
determine how best to implement the new
rule is based on that group's
recommendations to the department.
aquifer storage is more environmentally
friendly than surface reservoirs, which
often disrupt fish habitat and migration
patterns. Storage aquifers also could:
more protection from potential tampering.
Eliminate the need to construct structures
to store surface water.
potential to expand use of an aquifer,
experiencing large fluctuations in water
levels due to heavy pumping, to meet
comment on the proposed rule will be
accepted through Sept. 9. Two meetings are
slated for testimony in Kennewick Aug. 27
and Federal Way Aug. 28.
the proposed aquifer storage and recovery
rule may be obtained from and comments
submitted at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/wrhome.html.
comments may be mailed to Kathleen Ensenat,
Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600,
Olympia 98504-7600; fax (360) 407-6574.