Mayor Ron Harding stated in his July 17, 2009 monthly column in the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) that the City of Yelm is attempting to secure additional water rights though what he says is “a difficult task, compounded by outside interests who would stymie our efforts and stop all progress.”
Harding did not state what outside interests he was referring, yet the inference was clear. I took out a full-page paid-advertisement in the NVN July 8, 2009 to set the record straight about the City’s misleading comments and disparaging remarks about citizens who speak out against improper and unlawful conduct printed in copious amounts of space in the NVN May 22 and May 29. Interesting to note the city’s and newspaper’s silence about my advertisement correcting their misinformation.
What Mayor Harding needs reminding is that property owners inside city limits and owners peripheral to the city who are using the same aquifer as the city are all affected by the illegitimate use of local aquifer resources because the city has not been following procedures put in effect to preserve the use of those resources for private use, without impairment.
The City of Yelm has continued to maintain in their Draft Water System Plan, their MDNS & DNS that the huge increases in pumping water will have no environmental impact. The city has been relying on adding more water rights through the application to transfer the McMonigle water rights to the City of Yelm and has been using these requested but not approved additional water rights to justify they have enough water the last few years for increased city expansion. On July 20, 2009, Ecology REVERSES the decision of the Thurston County Conservancy Board and now says the City of Yelm is not approved to use the privately contracted water from the McMonigle water rights, leaving Yelm in a precarious position where their Draft Water System Plan may not be viable and the city could already be pumping more water than their allocated 796 acre feet per year.
The lack of regard for the environment by the City of Yelm has finally been noted in a landmark decision rendered by Ecology.