Spokane County, Wash. helping fund $14 million water infrastructure project

(UC) — The commissioners of Spokane County, Wash., are expected to give the Whitworth Water District $4 million to help pay for a $14 million infrastructure that should help bring water to an undersupplied area, The Spokesman-Review reported.

The project will pipe water from the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer about 5.4 miles north, to then supply to customers in the unincorporated district north of the City of Spokane, the article states.

The Whitworth Water District serves about 30,000 customers in the area and sits atop two aquifers, District General Manager Tim Murrell explained in the article. The Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer is much more abundant than the Little Spokane River Aquifer, which has been depleted over time.

Following a 2016 Washington Supreme Court decision that requires counties to ensure enough water is available for existing well users before they allow new wells, the Whitworth Water District came up with this project, the Spokesman-Review reported.

“It will minimize the amount of water that we have to pump out of our existing Little Spokane wells,” Murrell said in the article. “It’s basically a replacement project. For every gallon we pump out of the SVRP, we have to pump less out of the Little Spokane.”

The $4 million from Spokane County comes from the $101 million the county received from the American Rescue Plan.

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