Illahee Update 3/9/12 Deer Pics, Beach Class, Aquifers, Remand, Port Meeting Facility

Deer Pictures. The other day we stopped to talk with a neighbor at their mailbox, and while we were talking we noticed 6 or 7 deer playing in the yard across the street.  They didn’t seem very concerned about us but seemed to watching the neighbor’s dog and cat.  We talked about how the deer and the wildlife are one of the nice things about living in Illahee, though soon some of us will be trying to keep the deer out of our gardens.

Beach Naturalist Class. Several Illahee residents have taken these classes and have commented how good they were.  The classes are starting soon and are well worth the time.  We will try to provide the information and brochure below which often doesn’t work for us with pdf files, so you many need to go to their website.

The Beach Naturalist training runs on Fridays from March 23 to May 11 this year.

2012 Class Schedule

When: Fridays, March 23-May 11

Time: 9a.m. – 3:30p.m.

Where: Norm Dicks Building

345 6th Street, Room 406

Bremerton

Cost: $60 – includes Class Materials

For more information:

Visit our website http://kitsap.wsu.edu

Aquifer Situation. We received a copy of some information that went in regarding our aquifers.  This is an interesting topic that no one seems to want to talk about.  Some are saying that water will soon be the new gold, because of its supposedly limited supply.  It is hard for us to believe that water could be an issue in the Northwest, much less in Illahee, but that seems to be what the scientists are telling us.  Below is information that was forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners.  The first is a request that was made for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the aquifer situation in Illahee.  The request was not granted, but earlier there were areas identified in Illahee for removal from the Urban Growth Area (UGA) which will have and EIS prepared (see the Remand sections that follow the aquifer discussions).
Request an EIS that would take the entire Illahee Community out of the UGA, based on the fact that areas on the Manette Peninsula are at water balance (where the amount of precipitation infiltrating into the underlying Manette aquifer is the same amount of ground water that is being withdrawn by wells and discharging in other ways such as by stream base flows).  Additionally, using the Bainbridge Island USGS study’s modeling data, the base flow in Illahee Creek was found to be diminished by well withdrawals in the area.  These two facts indicate this area has already likely reached the maximum development density the underlying aquifers will permit, and that no further growth should be permitted without the commensurate assurance that the aquifers will  be replenished.
Hydrologist Response. The above EIS request was forwarded to hydrologist Dr. Joel Massmann, PhD to determine whether the above statements were correct. The response is noted below.  It should also be noted that in discussions with North Perry Water, they report they are not withdrawing water at rates allowed by their authorized groundwater rights.  What this discussion means to us is that we need to be aware of our aquifer situation and realize we should all be thinking about infiltrating storm water rather than sending it into streams or storm drains and into Puget Sound.

The statements that you made in that email regarding the likely water balance for deep aquifers are supported by the data and analyses that are described in the report entitled “Illahee Watershed Aquifer Protection Plan” prepared for the Port of Illahee and Illahee Forest Preserve by Keta Waters and Parametrix.  The following excerpt from page 8 of that report summarizes findings related to water balances for the deep aquifer system:

  • ·          The most reliable estimate of deep groundwater recharge on the Manette Peninsula is 3,100 acre-feet per year.  The estimated groundwater extraction from deeper aquifers on the Manette Peninsula is 3,000 to 4,000 acre-feet/year.  The North Perry Avenue Water District (NPAWD) claims water rights for wells in deep aquifers that add to over 4,000 acre-feet per year.  The City of Bremerton holds water rights certificates authorizing the extraction of 1,888 acre-feet per year from their Wells 13 and 14 on the Manette Peninsula.  These estimates suggest that the groundwater resources on the Manette Peninsula may be over-allocated.

The terms “over-appropriated” and “over-allocated” refer to the condition wherein the amount of groundwater rights  equals or exceeds the expected amount of groundwater inflow.  Your term “at water balance” corresponds to a condition where these rights are about equal to the expected groundwater inflow.   The data and analyses described in the Aquifer Protection Plan suggest that the deep aquifers on the Manette Peninsula may be at or even past the water balance condition in which permitted outflows equal estimated inflows.

Water balances within the Illahee Creek watershed also suggest that the deeper aquifers within the watershed may also be over-appropriated with the amount of water rights approaching or exceeding the amount of recharge.  This is discussed on pages 16-17 of the aforementioned Aquifer Protection Plan report. 

With regard to the findings of the USGS modeling study on Bainbridge Island (Frans et al., 2011, citation below), that study did show that groundwater extraction is expected to impact surface water flows, including flows in streams.  The USGS simulations suggest that roughly 20% to 40% of the groundwater extraction would have otherwise discharged to streams, springs, and seeps.  .   The hydrogeologic conditions on Bainbridge Island are similar enough to what is found within the Illahee Creek watershed to suggest that the impacts to surface water bodies would be of similar magnitude in the Illahee Creek watershed.


The Hydrological Cycle. We had two diagrams prepared for the Illahee film showing the hydrological cycle for a natural area, and and urban area, which are above and below.

Remand Maps. On the Kitsap County website are the remand maps that are currently being used to conduct a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for three alternatives (Alt #1 maps, Alt #2 maps, and No Action maps).  The maps can be accessed at the county website: http://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/community_plan/remand%202011/remand_seis.htm

Remand Decisions. Once the SEIS is completed, it will be time for residents and the county to start making decisions regarding how to shrink the Urban Growth Areas (UGAs) to meet the remand requirements.  We have already had a Planning Commissioner ask us if we knew what direction the community of Illahee wanted, and we said we didn’t.  It sounds like another Illahee Community meeting will need to be held once the three EIS are completed (which will be late May or June).

New Port Meeting Room. We checked on exactly where the Port meetings (and the Illahee Preserve meetings) will be held beginning in March.  The location is 5500B Illahee Road, which is the address for the lower two floors of the former Deitch residence.  The meetings will be held at the lower level and can be accessed through the gate close to the entrance to the Illahee dock.  The two meetings, that we are aware of, that regularly use the Port facilities are of course the Port, which normally meets at 5pm on the second Wednesday of the month, but in March will meet on Thursday (3/15/12).  The other group is the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee / Illahee Forest Preserve that meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm.  Both of these meeting are open to the public.

Jim Aho