Commissioners approve watershed plan
After months of re-writing by staff, Clallam County commissioners have approved a plan that sets guidelines for managing water supplies in the central and eastern portions of the county.
The Watershed Resource Inventory Area 18 plan, or WRIA 18, was developed over the past half-dozen years by several agencies and groups concerned about how water is being used in the area from Lake Sutherland to Sequim. WRIA 18 covers both the Elwha and Dungeness watersheds.
The first draft of the plan was met with resounding criticism last fall, with realtors, developers, well-drillers and property owners expressing fears that WRIA could led to new restrictions and regulations, which they felt were uneccesary.. But supporters of the plan said it was critical to preserving domestic and agricultural water supplies and fish and wildlife habitat in the future.
Where last fall's draft stirred up a firestorm of contention, the revised document commissioners had on their desk Tuesday drew only a few criticisms during a public hearing. In fact, realtors in both Port Angeles and Sequim even wrote letters offering their conditional support.
Commissioners voted to adopt the plan, acknowledging that it isn't "perfect", but a good starting point to planning the area's water use in the years to come.
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