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SNOHOMISH

CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER ADOPTING OFFICIAL POLICY TO CLOSE CITY OF SNOHOMISH WATER TREATMENT PLANT
And remove water supply diversion dam

June 21, 2016




CLICK TO ENLARGE
(SNOHOMISH, WA.) -- On Tuesday June 21st the Snohomish City Council will consider adopting an official policy (Resolution 1347) to close the city of Snohomish's Water Treatment Plant and remove its water supply diversion dam.

This action would be conditioned on several outcomes including preservation of water rights in the Pilchuck River system.

The City’s water supply has been an ongoing focus of consideration since the City completed the Water Supply Study in May 2009, according to a statement frrom the city.

This spring, a rate study analyzed the costs of the two main scenarios:

In Scenario 1, the City continues to maintain two sources of supply, both its City water treatment plant and supply from the City of Everett; and in Scenario 2, the City is served by one source of supply from Everett, and establishes an alternative source of supply for transmission line customers.

On May 3, 2016, the City Council held a workshop to review the rate study and to consider the basic procedures for “banking” (preserving for future use) the City’s water right.

Two key questions by the City Council from the previous meetings in 2014 and 2015 were reviewed:

1) Which scenario is the preferred option (that is, the least cost) for City rate payers, both in the short term (2017 to 2019) and in the long-term (2017 to 2031)

Scenario 2, in which the City customers are served by one source of supply from the City of Everett has significantly lower water rate projections for both the short and long-term.

The difference in projected rates between the two scenarios is almost double ($109.49/month vs. $57.24/month) by 2031, as detailed ion graph at above right. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

2) If the city shuts down its water treatment plant and discontinues diversion of water from the Pilchuck River, how does the city protect its water right to either sell or re-use in the future?

'Banking our perfected water right is the preferred option," said the city's statement. "The water right has a restricted value today because State law only allows us to sell it to another party for use within the same watershed. Both the reality that the water right has restricted value today and the fact that it has unknown value in the future reinforces that water right banking is the preferred option."

By banking the water right, the City would also have the option to return to providing its own water supply in the distant future. Banking the water right would allow to City to preserve those perfected rights into the future as would be established in detailed deliberations and agreements between the Washington State Department of Ecology, the City, and a possible third party.

In previous workshops and meetings in 2014 and 2015, additional details about the perfected water right have been discussed.

For further information contact Steve Schuller, Deputy City Manager/Public Works Director at (360) 282-3194 or schuller@snohomishwa.gov










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