Editorial: Nisqually Tribe helps plan for future
"The city of Olympia and the Nisqually tribe have entered into a memorandum of understanding calling for the creation of a Nisqually well field that could supply water by 2012.

Under the agreement, Olympia's longtime water source, McAllister Springs, will be replaced with a $15 million well field that will provide water resources for both the city and the tribe, which relies on shallow wells. The Olympia City Council and the tribal council have approved the agreement, which was formally signed last week by Mayor Doug Mah and Tribal Chairwoman Cynthia Iyall.

The agreement, the first between a city and tribe for water resources, should serve the city and the tribe well long into the future.

"With today's action, we begin the mutual journey of providing a safe and sustainable water source for both of our growing communities," Mah said at the signing ceremony.

"This partnership with the city strengthens our commitment to protecting the Nisqually Watershed, the lifeline of our tribe," Iyall said.

The agreement has implications for the entire area, including Lacey, which has been stymied for years in its bid to secure water rights from the state Department of Ecology for more groundwater wells to serve population growth and development."

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Editorial: Plan for water helps future (The Olympian 5/21)

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