Lakewood Water District - Abitibi Water Right Transfer

Abitibi Mill siteIn 2000, Abitibi Consolidated Sales Corporation closed their Chambers Bay paper mill and sought a buyer for the associated deep aquifer groundwater rights. Lakewood Water District (District) agreed to purchase the water rights in 2002 on the condition that the District could transfer the withdrawal to their own existing wells. The District contracted Robinson Noble to assess the potential effects of the transfer. We modeled the likely effects of moving production from the mill wells and spreading it amongst 11 District wells located between 0.6 and 5.3 miles inland, looking at drawdown patterns and estimating induced vertical leakage from upper aquifers. Then, in cooperation with the Law Office of Tom Pors, we assisted in the negotiations with Ecology over a proposed mitigation plan to offset the possible leakage resulting from the new production scenario. Following Ecology permit approval, which requires monitoring, we provided guidance and analysis of the monitoring program through 2009, when the District was able to take over a majority of the process. We now provide annual review of the monitoring data generated by the District.

Services provided: Water Rights Processing, Hydrogeologic Investigation, Groundwater Modeling, Groundwater Management, Legal Support