The Edwards Agency

Opinion

King County is giving away your water

water rights Listening to Friday's "appeal hearing" on the proposed Northridge development slated for Bear Creek was as absurd as it was frustrating.
   Defenders of Weyerhaeuser, which include Jane Hague, Chris Vance, and the Hearing Examiner, successfully prevented the full council and the public from hearing the answer to the question, "Does the Seattle Water Department (SWD) have water to meet their obligation to Redmond, who has committed (for the time being) to give Northridge and Blakely Ridge their water?"
   Since the last public hearings six months ago, and earlier when Redmond granted the developers "certificates of water availability," SWD has told Redmond they will not renew their water contract when it expires. This is significant because without this water, Redmond has testified it cannot provide water to these projects on their own.
   Add to this that Northridge is to be built on the "critical recharge area" for Redmond's and Union Hill's wells, and it suggests Redmond's water customers could be in big trouble. Seattle Water has said recently that demand for their water will exceed their available supplies as early as next year.
   None of this seems to matter now, though, because as the hearings ended six months ago, so it seems did the council's interest in the truth. What a wonderful process that prevents information, critical to a decision, from being given to decision-makers.
   All the projects' backers on the council want now is to get through this facade they call SEPA, and give their friends their approvals, no matter how it hurts the rest of us.

Michael Costello, Redmond