Capitol Lake compromise could satisfy all interests

OlympiaAugust 22, 2013 

Hopefully others see that the animosity over Capitol Lake management presents an unwinnable situation for either side. While the freshwater lake people have the political clout in numbers, the estuary people have the permitting hammer, especially with the Squaxin Tribe.

In this case I think there is a correlation between the words stalemate and stagnate beyond phonetics.

The problem is that both sides are almost equally right in their beliefs. A clean, freshwater reflecting pool would be cool for the Capitol Campus, but a functioning estuary would be best for Puget Sound.

Well, it’s possible to have about 90 percent of what both sides want with a simple compromise. Build both a lake and an estuary by completing the Heritage Park circle to create a hydrologic basin isolated from the Deschutes River.

This new lake basin could be supplied with ample clean water through artesian wells established along the base of the slopes below the Capitol Campus. Although rather chilly, this water would be crystal clean to the point that you could drink it.

The Deschutes River would flow past this isolated lake basin to the west with normal tidal fluctuation and establish all the natural elements needed to sustain a productive estuary.

Trying to create a clean lake for human use and pleasure using water from the Deschutes River is like trying to make septic effluent potable.

Olympia is already known for its clean groundwater; an artesian lake created for public use could become a significant icon of this city.

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