Though the District wished to pursue the project, a required Reservoir Permit was not issued by Washington State until September 2006. The permit is phased, with two 6-year pilot phases and eight 6-year operational phases, making the project operational at the earliest in 2018 and not fully operational until 2066. The maximum annual ASR quantity (Qa) during the pilot phases is 5,000 acre-feet. The Qa increases with successive phases, so that under the final phase, the permit allows the fully projected storage of 29,000 acre-feet. Injected water must come from existing water rights and can occur from November to May. Recovery is allowed from June through October. Prior to becoming operational, the District must address the State’s concerns about induced leakage from surface water bodies and overlying aquifers, slope stability, potential land-surface subsidence/uplift, and water quality changes. Extensive monitoring is required during both pilot and operational stages.
The District has begun Phase 1. Work to date includes monitoring springs and local streams, constructing monitor wells, and installing a new ASR well. Near-term future work includes ASR testing using groundwater as a source and constructing a new numerical model of the aquifer.