We have a serious challenge facing Grant County and our region's declining aquifer system that threatens our future. Over the past 15 years, the Columbia Basin Ground Water Management Area, or GWMA, has secured $7.64 million from the state and $5.7 million from the federal government to conduct groundwater research and implement projects to assess and protect groundwater quality and availability and help identify future supply options.
But the GWMA needs local funding to continue doing these things. Commissioners in Adams, Franklin, Grant and Lincoln counties are seeking public input on the creation of a four-county Aquifer Protection Area to fund the Columbia Basin GWMA for a decade to fully use this significant public investment and create a working groundwater hydrologic model, with an experienced technical and scientific team to manage the declining resource and seek future water supply options.
The commissioners in each county must determine whether or not it's in the public interest to conduct a public hearing on this issue. If after the hearing, the commissioners determine that there is adequate public support, they would need to pass a resolution to place it on the ballot. I respectfully request that our commissioners conduct a public hearing on the creation of an Aquifer Protection Area to fund the GWMA.
Jerry Williamson, Moses Lake