Water will become more precious than gold
~ Especially to those without it.
Recently, the City of Yelm asked the Dept of Ecology to "fast-track" a Water Rights application that would more than DOUBLE the amount of water that Yelm currently takes out of our local aquifer. What is that going to do to our water table?
In 2009, the City presented similar plans and almost 100 comments were filed with the Dept of Ecology in protest because property owners could see how taking that much water out of the aquifer could deplete their own wells, requiring them to drill deeper at their own expense.
The City wasn't worried about that – it was thinking of all the extra income it would make from all those new houses (but at the expense of the citizens already living here). Can you afford to drill your well 50 feet deeper just so it still hits water?
JZ WINS CASE AGAINST CITY OF YELM IN THE SUPREME COURT
5 years ago, JZ declared that the City of Yelm did not have enough water for the size development they were going to allow. The City said "Yes we do have enough water." But they had no proof that there really was enough water for all those new houses, all they had was an application for Water Rights in at the Dept of Ecology. They certainly did not have the go-ahead to do anything like approve a great big development. It took 5 long years, but finally the Supreme Court ruled that JZ was right and that the City of Yelm must show proof of having enough water before they can OK any development.
CITY OF YELM BACK AT IT AGAIN
I hadn't thought about it for months, then I awoke last autumn with a funny feeling about what was happening with Yelm and the water issue. I had been following it for years, as I live next door to the Ranch, have Thompson Creek flowing thru my land, and am quite affected also.
So I checked, and the DOE was just about to approve Yelm's same old crumby Mitigation Plan, plus grant them water rights! Like in 3 days... and no one knew. Very sneaky bunch.
I spoke with a bunch of folks, including my neighbors, and everyone was so busy with their own lives that they had no idea what the City was up to.
IT WASN'T RIGHT THEN, AND IT ISN'T RIGHT NOW
So I filed the appeal against the City of Yelm and the Dept of Ecology. HA! (Not knowing what the heck I was getting into :o)
There were no Downstreamers to begin with - only me. I was hoping I could get some other folks to join in, which I did - 9 local families, mostly in school, and mostly my friends. It's been quite the journey.
I did it without an attorney for 3 whole months with the help of CELP (Center for Environmental Law and Policy) who are all about protecting our State's water. I was told that they provided about $10,000 worth of help for us for free. Then they advised me that I really needed to hire an attorney. They helped me find a great attorney (Patrick) who's been working for us for $70 an hour! Unheard of. Plus he's done lots of hours for free. He's gone above and beyond the call of duty to help our cause.
THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE CITY OF YELM DEPOSITIONED ALL OF US
Now, because I filed an appeal against the City of Yelm, all the Downstreamers were served with Interrogatories to fill out and then Depositioned individually, a grueling process. It was meant to intimidate us (plus the attorneys make a TON of money when they Deposition people).
Coming up July 25-27th is the Big Court Hearing where it will be The City of Yelm and the Department of Ecology against Sara Foster & the Downstreamers. They are attempting to use special loop holes in the law that will line their coffers and suck our wells dry,
Our amazing attorney, Patrick, has done so much for us and we haven't been able to pay him for what he's already done. Now he is getting ready to go against the whole Dept of Ecology, the City of Yelm and all of their expert witnesses because he believes in what we're doing.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO SAVE OUR WATER SUPPLY
We need your help. We need contributions to help pay Patrick and help us make sure that our wells aren't sucked dry by big developers and a greedy city council. And REMEMBER, this aquifer we are trying to protect is the SAME aquifer that feeds our School.
Any contribution can be made out to either Sara Foster or the Downstreamers. Mail contributions to:
14104 89th Ave SE
Yelm, WA 98597
[NOTE: if you are going to PayPal money, log into PayPal, click on the Send Money tab, and then select the PERSONAL tab not the Purchase tab, so no fees are charged to you or to the Downstreamers. Select Gift, put in the email address and amount and click Continue. Then just click Send, and wait for the warm fuzzy feeling to wash over you for doing something great!]
Thanks for your interest and all your help! We need it and we really appreciate it!
Sara Foster & the Downstreamers
- Category: Yelm Local