Excessive growth is a drain on limited water resources


Once again, the endless stream of fancy-pants salesmen are descending on Whidbey with fast-buck schemes for destruction of this now fading one-of-the-last-jewels on our planet.

Armed with slick lawyer talk, oversimplified arguments that ignore long-standing history and ardent study, deep pockets full of candy tidbits and plates of crummy cookies; they begin by eliciting opportunistic politicians in an effort to sell their personally enriching ideas to an ill informed public by claiming to be intellectually superior to all the academic studies of the past.

There probably is no place in western United States studied so intensely as our own Whidbey Island. The work that went into the adaption of the Island County Water Resources Management Plan is evidence of that.

The fact is, we are an island where critical factors like water availability, trash disposal, pollution potential, seawater intrusion, and healthy habitat are far more restrictive than on the mainland. Then too, increased population subjects our nation’s Naval defense team to more jet noise complaints that the nation’s airport history can’t deny being detrimental.

Who wants to shackle our nation’s defenses in this increasingly dangerous nuclear age for crying out loud?

Oak Harbor is in a stage 1 water conservation restriction as we speak. Treaties giving Native Americans rights to the salmon industry have been used to shut down or restrict new water wells and water rights required for residential development in Whatcom, Skagit, and Snohomish counties.

Oak Harbor residents were conned into a sewer plant program that is rated, by some, to be three times what is needed for normal growth in the next 50-100 years. Who wants unnecessarily crazy high taxes that benefit profiteers?

Has no one noticed that traffic in the Oak Harbor area is a nightmare with no solutions in sight? More schools will have to be built all requiring big property tax increases. Tax-and-spend will become borrow-and-spend, which, of course, is far more expensive … except to fancy-pant dandies.

Now, these fake news artists are claiming that Oak Harbor’s last Urban Growth Area, or UGA, attempts that were shot down hard in a lengthy courtroom drama, were merely “flawed.”

Are they suggesting that Washington’s legal system is stupid and defunct?

Skagit River water that supplies Oak Harbor and the Navy bases is not an unlimited source. What will happen to the 72 percent or so county residents who depend on the island’s ancient aquifer for drinking water when an expanded Oak Harbor opts to suck it out to meet their needs? Will they have to flush their toilets with bottled water?

Our geology here is erratic “glacial till.” That makes understanding our aquifer resources difficult. Water well drillers with over a half century of experience tell us that dry holes sometimes occur only feet away from functioning wells.

Anyone hear of seawater intrusion that already ruins some wells? Mainland-educated “water experts” don’t, as was clear at the “medicine show” at the Best Western.

Excessive growth is cancer. Who wants that?

Al Williams

Oak Harbor

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