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treeswarper
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PostMon Jun 10, 2019 8:24 pm 
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I pay for the fire dept. via property tax.  I pay for water based on a fixed amount plus how much I use.  There is a difference.  Farmers pay for irrigation whether they use it or not.  In the west, water has been a commodity since settlers arrived.

Now, why should you care about the Randle area suddenly?  Nobody gave a rip when the timber harvest was cut drastically.  Why care about something that will be legal and on private land?  If you care about aquifers and such, why aren't you in the Yakima area where large dairy operations have and are polluting the ground water?  Or why aren't you complaining about the sucking up of the Odessa aquifer by farmers?  The latter is drying up from over use--look it up.
There are better causes for you if you really care about water.

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Anne Elk
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PostMon Jun 10, 2019 10:30 pm 
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Treeswarper - We post items concerning resource conservation issues (et al) in areas where we don't live all the time to bring them to the attention of the wider community here. Some of us might live nearby and not know about it, and some things (like this) speak to a spreading trend that's good to be aware of because someday it might be an issue in our own back yard.

The issue of concern isn't water per se, it's the selling of water rights in a community to a transnational corporation. It's a completely different animal from the issues you mentioned. To illustrate with a rather extreme example, there's this. Not a perfect analogy since they bought the land, but still:

Quote:
No one we talked to has issue with these corporations coming in and wanting to make money. And the fact that it's going to Saudi Arabia or China, the locals simply didn't care. But what they did care about is that their water tables are falling. So their domestic wells that they use for their homes are increasingly dropping, and at some point, they're going to lose access to water.


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treeswarper
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PostTue Jun 11, 2019 7:04 am 
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I'll have to talk to some folks on my next visit.  I seem to recall a bunch of yokels ruining a meeting where some of us were trying to find out why the state wanted to install meters on our private wells.  At that time, folks were hollering at the meeting that they had infinite water and the meters were part of a plot to steal the water for the Puget Sound area.  Our county commissioners got the metering stopped, although I think a few businesses had to install meters.

Washington State could not have chosen a better way to raise suspicions.  They chose two very rural counties for whatever "study" this was--Lewis and another that I can't recall.  It may have been Grays Harbor?

The same people were also against a moratorium on well drilling.  Looks like that backfired.

Randle is an interesting community.  Butt out.

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RandyHiker
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PostTue Jun 11, 2019 7:10 am 
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Independent of this specific project, bottled water is a horrible product on several dimensions.

But with confidence in the safety of municipal water at an all time low in the USA it is understandable.
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Lono
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PostTue Jun 11, 2019 7:17 am 
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Arsenic like any other naturally occurring substance can be routinely and easily removed during water treatment.  Arsenic should be no more a problem to people in Napa valley than to folks on the Sammamish plateau, which I believe also removes naturally occurring arsenic during water treatment. And Crystal Geyser runs their own water treatment before bottling and after the local PUD does their job to eliminate arsenic, e coli, radium, chlorine, fluoride etc etc regardless what the locals in Randle get from their tap.  The point is to produce great tasting water that justifies bottling and shipping it in the PNW or around the world.  And the debate should be about a local PUD cutting a water deal to have Crystal Geyser set up a botting plant and water treatment operation drawing 500 MGD off a local aquifer. If the PUD knows its stuff it can cap the water allowance and never let it impact another local residents' access to water.  It doesn't take much imagination to say that a 500 MGD allowance will scale down to 250 MGD if half the aquifer has disappeared from under their feet. Everyone wants water and these deals are cut all the time. Jobs and commerce from the deal would be higher concerns down in Centralia, let alone flood mitigation...
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Jun 11, 2019 7:19 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
You'll often hear the noise of a yarder working if they are on the hillside.  People are often target shooting, or just shooting.  Dogs are barking.  It isn't very quiet.

You clearly have the perspective of someone living in a rural area where human activity noise is the exception rather than the rule. 

Urban dwellers learn to sleep through sirens from fire trucks, police cars and ambulances multiple times a night.
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MtnGoat
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PostTue Jun 11, 2019 12:44 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
A couple things.  I started this thread intending to share info, since corporate acquisition of water rights is definitely an important community issue.  And the municipalities of some under-employed communities are desperate for a better tax base and believe that anything that's good for business is good for the community.  This is one area where that's not necessarily so.

MtnGoat disagrees per his free market assertions but hasn't addressed the substantive concerns I listed in any meaningful way.  But the ideological ad hominems aren't helpful and the retorts are starting to sound like sea-lioning, which I've seen a number of times in various threads.  Not productive "conversation".  C'mon people, we can do better than this.  shakehead.gif

I submit we'd be better served to address concerns directly to posters who lead with ad homs, or who troll by claiming mere disagreement is 'trolling', and putting words into other posters mouths based upon their own mistaken ideas, combined with animosity towards disagreement. Preaching to the choir, of which I am one, doesn't target the misbehavior. Most of us do far better, and treating everyone as if they don't is unjustified. Remember what actually happened...I'm addressing the topic and the ideas...and a poster shows up, and begins working their 'magic', churn...on me. This isn't an 'everybody' issue.

On topic of the topic, I may not have addressed unspoken concerns, but I did address details within your post which I quoted. There is no evidence that the PUD was being sold or privatized, and noting this is both relevant and substantive, since it falsifies a concern, taking it off the table in this instance.

I also directly addressed your concern with respect to use of the resource, and noted that rights to use resources are not merely local rights, but available to all US citizens.

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MtnGoat
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PostTue Jun 11, 2019 12:52 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
I'd think this would be all the more reason for the nearby residents to be concerned, since the corporation proposes to tap the local aquifer.

Anne Elk wrote:
They should decide for themselves, but as detailed in the story about Anacortes, sometimes that's not the municipality's m.o.  In re water as a "commodity" - of course it is; but the question is, to whom does the local supply belong, and should it be ok for entities at a distance to privatize the supply and truck it away to sell for profit?  Paying for your metered water is beside the point - that's just what takes to fund the infrastructure & labor to deliver it; same way we pay for the police & fire dept, and roads, etc., anything we fund collectively for the benefit of all, right?

Of course it should be OK. For one thing, they are not privatizing the entire resource, only the portion of it which they intend to trade and pay for. The idea that you can't or shouldn't sell something that you've negotiated and paid for rights to, doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps an explanation of your concerns at the levels of first principles here would help.

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RodF
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PostTue Jun 11, 2019 1:34 pm 
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Much talk here about "the aquifer", as if it was a single lake beneath our feet.

There are multiple aquifers.  Lewis County, as much of northern Washington, consists of glacial outwash deposits which are, near Randle and in all the lower valleys, hundreds of feet deep.  They contain multiple aquifers (gravels, sands), separated by less permeable layers (clays), which may be poorly differentiated by nonetheless are quite real.   In many locations, these layers are readily visible to the naked eye to those, like hikers, who spend time outdoors looking around western Washington.  So the surficial, intermediate and deeper aquifers are often not hydrologically connected to one another.  That means that drawing water from a deep well often has no effect the water level in nearby shallow wells.  This can be readily proven by tritium analysis, which reveals the age of the water drawn from a well.

It is a source of amazement (but alas not surprise) that the discussion here focuses on superficial debates over philosophy, be it political (words like "privatization") or economic ("jobs") philosophy, which have no connection whatsoever to hydrology.  Or perhaps, to reality?

To paraphrase Shakespeare, Mother Nature cares not one whit for your philosophy, Horatio.  The state Dept. of Ecology should either grants or deny well permits based on hydrology, not on politics. 

There may be no reality underlying the debates here.  But the debates will go on.  Because they are a source of entertainment for those engaging in them. 

Those of us interested in hiking... well, we should look elsewhere.

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MtnGoat
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PostTue Jun 11, 2019 2:03 pm 
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The State dept regulates access to the hydrological features based upon politics and ideology, so both spheres are relevant. Hydrology is the what. Ideals and their implementation, is the why.

There is plenty of reality here. The reality of the hydrology, the reality that you cannot divorce politics or ideology from the regulation of access to water, and the reality that only some ideologies are not based on reality as it actually is.

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Anne Elk
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PostTue Jun 11, 2019 8:15 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
...rights to use resources are not merely local rights, but available to all US citizens.

Well, we'll have to disagree on that one, for reasons not worth getting into in this forum.

MtnGoat wrote:
  The idea that you can't or shouldn't sell something that you've negotiated and paid for rights to, doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps an explanation of your concerns at the levels of first principles here would help.

  I don't think the needs/demands of commerce should ever trump the rights of a community to things as fundamental as a sustainable water supply.  That's something like a first principle. Communities all over the country have had their health and safety compromised by corporate activities...for forever.  Be careful what you sell and permit.

Quite a few years ago I abandoned my involvement in enviro activist issues because of how rigged the legal system appeared to be.  Then I was introduced to the work of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund - which began my education into the how and why the system is set up that way.  Check out this one-page condensed explanation on the CELDF site.   It's unfortunate that some of their "white papers" are no longer available online as they've made their way into books.  One thing worth checking out is their "Democracy School" - video series available online for free.  CELDF's Rx isn't a magic bullet, that's going to take a change in the collective POV that will take as long as the civil rights movement.  But I respect them for their diagnosis and analysis.  If you're being shafted by the system, it's good to know why and how.  I might also say that traditional environmental groups and enviro attorneys don't like to hear this stuff - b/c it exposes them as trapped in a system where ultimately, they can't really win.

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Ski
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PostTue Jun 11, 2019 9:22 pm 
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re: water

Specifically, BOTTLED water.

WHY are Americans drinking bottled water?

Did you ever look to see WHY bottled water first came into being?
Because some “modern, industrialized, advanced” west European nations had so fouled their drinking water sources that it became necessary for the general population to seek out new sources of drinking water.

So WHY has this farce of bottled water been sold to the American public?
As Ralphie said in “A Christmas Story”, the answer is simple: “Unbridled avarice”.
Greed. Plain and simple.

The Centralia Chronicle wrote:
The company’s application to the state requests 400 gallons per minute and 360 acre-feet per year for commercial use.

400 gallons per minute = 24000 gallons per hour = 576,000 gallons per day
1 gallon = 8 pints
1 16-ounce bottle of water sells @ $1.00 (average)
576,000 gallons per day = $4,608,000.00 retail sales per day

And for that little Randle gets a measly 20 or 30 full-time jobs?

The trade-offs:

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/4/3/18292549/poland-spring-water-nestle-lawsuit-spring-water

vox.com wrote:
These monetary costs don’t come close to the dire environmental impact plastic bottles have on the planet. Food & Water Watch reports that in 2016, 4 billion pounds of plastic was used for bottled water in the US — bottles that have no place to go now that China isn’t accepting the rest of the world’s plastic anymore.

I'm going to take a wild guess and speculate that "Crystal Geyser" is planning on moving their product to market via semi truck down US Hwy 12 - a two-lane strip of asphalt that winds about 40 miles west to I-5.
What sort of contribution will they be making to the Washington State Department of Transportation for the extra load they'll be putting on that stretch of highway, which will unquestionably increase the maintenance costs of the roadway.

You're being hoodwinked.
Bamboozled.
Screwed.

see also: "Nestle Water Maine"

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zimmertr
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PostWed Jun 12, 2019 9:51 am 
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As someone from Michigan that really resonates with me.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/03/599207550/michigan-oks-nestl-water-extraction-despite-over-80k-public-comments-against-it


Some quotes from the article:

Quote:
80,945 against and 75 in favor.


Quote:
Under the plan, Nestlé will be approved to pump up to 400 gallons of water per minute from the well


Quote:
"The interesting thing to me," Smith said, "was the top three themes — by far — are: [one,] corporate greed versus people and the environment; two, water is not for profit; and three, worries about privatizing water."

Smith added, "about 40,000 people wrote about each of those concerns."

Even with those comments taken into consideration, the Michigan agency was still bound to make its final determination on the legal merits of Nestlé's request.

"And that's the end of it," the agency's source water supervisor, Matt Gamble, told Smith last month. "We don't have the power to say no arbitrarily. We can't just say no for reasons that aren't attached to the law."

The agency can't say no, Smith added, "even if the vast majority of the public wants them to."




mad.gif  rant.gif
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MtnGoat
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PostWed Jun 12, 2019 10:21 am 
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Anne Elk wrote:
I don't think the needs/demands of commerce should ever trump the rights of a community to things as fundamental as a sustainable water supply.  That's something like a first principle. Communities all over the country have had their health and safety compromised by corporate activities...for forever.  Be careful what you sell and permit.

Thanks for more detail Anne, that helps.

I agree, commerce should not violate innocent people's rights. I guess the issue I have here is I'm not seeing any evidence such a thing is happening in the case presented. The water rights don't appear to threaten the sustainability, and the idea that they may or could is a standard that can be applied to nearly anything.

The idea that something could threaten something else is not the same as actually harming the something else. Interfering with other people because of what might happen instead of what is actually written down as a deal, or is provably harming their rights, is not itself a sustainable principle , IMO.

Good discussion

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MtnGoat
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PostWed Jun 12, 2019 10:25 am 
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Ski wrote:
re: water

Specifically, BOTTLED water.

.......


You're being hoodwinked.
Bamboozled.
Screwed.

see also: "Nestle Water Maine"

Let other folks decide for themselves wether they value the bottled water you're apparently very much against. They know more about why they want it than you do.

Not sure how a deal it appears you don't like 'screws' people, either. They've noted how many jobs they think it will make, made above board deals for the water rights, and not liking their buisness doesn't mean anyone is getting screwed or bamboozled.

How will they pay for the roads? The same way all users pay, fuel taxes, liscensing taxes, and all the other taxes which flow into road maintenance.

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