Clark Public Utilities wins new water right to serve growth for decades

By Aaron Corvin, Columbian port & economy reporter

Published:

 

The Washington Department of Ecology has approved significant new sources of water for Southwest Washington communities served by Clark Public Utilities and the city of Ridgefield, the state agency said today.

The Ecology department issued a water right permit this week for Clark Public Utilities to develop a new well field near the south end of Lake Vancouver. The water supply secured under the permit is equal to 20,000 acre-feet, roughly equivalent to 6.52 billion gallons of water, or the amount used by 60,000 homes in a year.

It's enough water to accommodate planned growth throughout the utility's service area in Clark County for the next 40 years. Clark Public Utilities provides water service to about 30,000 homes and businesses in the Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Lake Shore, Hockinson, Brush Prairie, La Center, Meadow Glade, Amboy and Yacolt areas.

In a news release issued by the Ecology department, Wayne Nelson, general manager of Clark Public Utilities, said the utility's new water right is "a critical piece for the future sustainability of our system and will ensure safe, reliable water supply for our customers for decades into the future."

He continued: "Securing access to this water source is a significant achievement and was made possible only through ongoing collaboration with the Department of Ecology and the Port of Vancouver over many years."