Thursday, December 10, 2015

It's the Water...But Where Will It Come From?

The headline says, "Port Angeles eyes new water sources in wake of drought restrictions."

The trolls, and more than one City Council member, will say, "What's the problem here?"

Here's the problem - well, one of them, anyway:

The city ended four months of water restrictions Oct. 21, but the El NiƱo weather forecast for this winter could leave the Olympic Mountains short on snowpack next summer.

Still, it could be seven years before water might flow from wells on the city's West End, which a pair of hydrogeologists said Tuesday was the best place to drill.

Less snow, less water. It's pretty simple, actually. But then again, so are trolls and City Council members. Let's see how many of them manage to stay afloat as they deal with the multiple water issues facing them.

Kevin Costner couldn't make Waterworld work.
Do you think Dan Gase will do any better?


  1. Uh oh, now city dwellers will have to take seriously that semi-invisible nation to the west of town. Now that the Elwha Tribe has water the city needs the city is all warm and fuzzy to the Tribe--as it should have been for 150 years. The Tribe will share, as they always do. I just hope they drive a bargain that is sustainable to the Tribe and to the city. In the meantime we need to build off-channel reservoirs to capture some of this record flow of the Elwha River and store it for the dry months--which are surely coming and of longer duration. Drilling more and more wells is merely a stop-gap measure and will not sustain the current needs of the city/county during the looming droughts which we must assume will return year after year. If the recent rains were captured in such a reservoir there would be no concerns about available water next summer.

  2. The long term pattern we are going to see is less snowpack. Instead of falling as snow the water will come as rain that produces flooding while flowing quickly through the watershed and out to sea. The loss of that slow melting snowpack means less water will have the chance to soak in and replenish groundwater. A well drilled down to 500 feet will contribute further to depleting groundwater.

    Bigger cities do not rely on wells for their fresh water supply. They carefully manage large reservoirs. This well project is going to be another expensive capital project that does not solve the problem, just like the CSO project.

    We need reservoirs and we need to start building them right now.

  3. Interesting how the consultants determined the area had poor conditions for drilling wells.

    I wonder if they are going to incorporate the findings of the recent studies that found only 6% of water is replaced, per year, back into the groundwater supplies. Meaning, if you pull out 100 gallons from the aquifers, only 6 gallons will make it's way through the soils and bedrock to replace what you took.

    Based upon those findings, it would seem investing millions in wells is not a smart move.

    Back to building reservoirs that would be capturing and storing all this rain we're getting, that otherwise is rushing out to the Strait as fast as it can get there.

  4. Just checked Ediz Hook and waterfront enroute to check what a 10+ foot tide looks like and it appears we can survive rising sea level.

    1. What is this supposed to mean?

      Add another 3 feet, and a storm surge or tsunami of 20 feet or more to what you saw today, and see what " surviving sea level rise might look like.

      Or, if things go really badly, add a lot more than 3 feet.

    2. Yeah, and to hell with New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, San Diego, the Carolinas and so on.

    3. Actually, if you look at the projected maps with Iceland melting, etc, most of low lying coastal America is looking pretty bad. Manhattan? Yikes. Florida? It already has flooding in its streets.