[Vision2020] Wayne and water

Phil Nisbet pcnisbet1 at hotmail.com
Tue May 31 01:47:19 PDT 2005

In his latest assault phase Wayne asks,

"Is this an admission that you did not write the material submitted under 
your name by Naylor Farms under oath in the first IDWR hearing on this 

This is a pretty poorly constructed sentence of course, since under oath has 
nothing to do with anything but the provision of oral testimony.  Yes, Wayne 
I provided oral testimony at the first Naylor hearing.  I note that you have 
never quoted anything I said at that hearing.

As for written materials, the Naylor’s provided IDWR with a 500 page report 
which included drill logs, several sections, location maps and other things 
that I provided them.  I did not prepare their report.  You see, Wayne, the 
trouble is that I actually know the law involved.  Internal memos and 
internal reports can be prepared by geologists who are not acting under 
license.  Thus reports by John Bush, as just one example, are reports which 
once filed in the public sphere become in essence and on their face illegal. 
  As you know, the Idaho Board of Professional Geologists found no wrong 
doing on my part and one of the principle reasons that they did was that I 
followed the law and prepared no reports for external use.  That is of 
course not the case with the many reports which your friends had filed on 
their behalf.

So, though Kevin Brackney's report was legal, because he is licensed and 
therefore his report can be made part of the public record, CE Brockway's 
report, John Bush's report, Dr Elliot’s report and a number of other such 
submissions were in fact the practicing of geology without a license 
envisioned in the act requiring licensing of geologists.

There have been requests made of me to turn in the various people who 
provided reports to your side so that the IBPG could proceed against them.  
I refused to participate in what I view as a McCarthy like witch-hunt into 
the lives of other geologists.  But you claim to want to see justice done in 
the letters I got in my FOIA request for documents submitted to the IBPG.  
Are you going to turn all those, as you termed them, scoff laws in to the 
IBPG Wayne?  Or was your ire just for somebody who you disagreed with?

I do, however, have the right to peer publish the findings of the 8 years I 
have spent mapping, drilling and sampling in the Latah Formation sediments.  
That time, by the by, is more time on those particular sediments than any of 
the people you chose to call as witnesses.  I am an expert in the Latah, 
Wayne, and the rest of my peers recognize that.  As a matter of fact, Wayne, 
sitting here in my room are box after box of Latah Formation papers and 
data, more data than anybody else has currently assembled.

The trouble is, you and a few others politicized what should have been a 
scientific process.  So, most of the people who ended up on your team have 
never seen most of the data assembled.  That is why three of them wrote 

"The sequence of sediments the Naylor wells will be pumping from is 
laterally equivalent to the upper Grande Ronde Basalt flows in Pullman and 
to a 200 ft thick sequence of sediments beneath the Wanapum Basalt in 
Moscow.  Groundwater connection has not been proven, but conversely no 
evidence exists to indicate there is not a connection."

You see Wayne, they had not seen the data, looked at the core or the 
trenches or the other information.  They remained neutral, saying simply 
that they needed data to be convinced.

Then of course there was this;

"2)                The data presented for the ''D Street ridge" are weak at 
best and the presence of the structure is exceedingly speculative.  Rocks in 
yards and retaining walls are hardly evidence of bedrock at shallow levels 
and are probably no more than ornamental stones.  Even if such a ridge 
exists in the subsurface, both the city of Moscow and the University of 
Idaho have deep wells in the basalt and sediment sequence north of the 
purported ridge."

I fully concur with that finding.  As a matter of fact, I would go it one 
better in declaring without equivocation that there is no E-W Ridge below 
the trace of D Street.

However, Wayne, at the hearing and to this minute, I will also state without 
equivocation, there is a ridge that separates Naylor Farms from Moscow at 
the level of the Wanapum Basalt.  The Naylor’s posited D street and an E-W 
trend to that ridge, but their postulation was not correct.

A buried ridge which has its last outcrop at what is termed the D Street 
Clay Pit with an exposure of Granite Saprolite there, is the last known 
surface expression to the west of what appears from other data to be a WNW 
trending ridge which sits parallel to the Moscow Channel.  North of that 
area, sediments deepen in the well logs, indicating that there is a channel 
to the north of that divide.

John Bush was the first person to recognize that the rest of the supposed 
semicircular basin termed the Palouse Basin was in fact divided by a series 
of highs into separate sub-basins.  If you review Bush or re-read Kevin's 
testimony, you will find that they note those other divides, one between 
Moscow and Pullman and one to the southwest of Pullman and that is at great 
variance with Dale Ralston's Palouse Basin Aquifer model.

I have the data to show a further divide which sits north of town, but 
unfortunately, now the geologists involved are not having the opportunity to 
simply work with the data, they all have to play the political game that has 
now surrounded the process.  So they have all refused to even look at the 
data, since that would force them into an untenable position with respect to 
people they are now representing.

So, Wayne, at that hearing, you had Dale Ralston actually disagreeing with 
John Bush and holding out for his model.  John called for dividing the basin 
into units, but has yet to see the data dividing the Northern portion of the 
basin from the segments in which the two cities sit.  Kevin concurred with 
John.  What was very interesting was that your non-geologist, Dr Elliot, 
actually did a cross section of the area of Naylor Farms, which if you go to 
your notes you will find.  Guess what, Wayne, the ridge I noted is there in 
Dr Elliot’s cross section, because he went to the water wells, just as I did 
and actually started to plot them.

So though he did not recognize it, Dr Elliot actually independently came to 
the same conclusion that I have.  There is separation between the deeper 
aquifer north of Moscow from the Moscow Channel.  It was on that basis that 
I had earlier suggested to those who had mapped all of sections 28, 29 and 
31 as granite, that unlike their suggestion that a hole drilled in section 
29 would hit granite in 30 feet, I thought that they would get through the 
Wanapum and to the Vantage member below that.  Provant, Bush and others had 
previously drawn section for the area, one which I may point out is your 
'expert' CE Brockway, continued to use, showing that all the land under 
Naylor Farms was granite.  In fact, I was correct and Granite sits at a 
depth of 470 feet in that hole.

Through this whole process, I have suggested that in order to conserve the 
resource and to see something other than a giant water grab by town into the 
rural areas, there needs to be an irrigation district set up to protect all 
rural land owners.  I called Kevin to agree with him that I was concerned 
that tapping the Vantage might indeed effect wells drilled in the Granite 
saprolites and that regardless of Naylor, new developments are all drilling 
into Vantage north of town and that will use more water than Naylor's have 
actually been granted or will use.  With an irrigation district, the people 
in the district are subject to the Water Master and do not need to go to the 
courts to enforce their water rights.  It would also give the people to the 
north of town some power in the process, since now only Moscow and Pullman 
and the Universities have a say in what happens.

Even under Mark's fairly draconian new code, they will allow up to 500 
houses on the lands that the Naylor’s hold and further would allow 
businesses to crowd onto the 1.5 miles of highway frontage that the Naylor's 
control.  Those people would end up using 150,000 gallons of water a day, 
365 days a year if they did indeed xeriscape their properties.  It might 
interest you to note that that is about what the actual use at Naylor would 
be for their grape operation.  CE Brockway noted that drip irrigation would 
not use anywhere nearly as much water as IDWR was planning on granting, 
which he noted to be 240,000,000 gallons of water.  He is correct and what 
should be noted is that Naylor’s water rights are contingent on actual use 
and not the figure initially on their order.  Naylor’s would be constrained 
to only drip irrigate and could not put water out in any other manner.

I did free work at Naylor to help some people on a project I thought was 
desirable.  As I saw that project, they want to build 199 acres of vineyard 
and 150 acres of lakes.  I would rather see lakes and vineyards north of 
Moscow over the long run than just another crowded housing area and a bunch 
of strip malls running to the base of the Thatuna Range.  One would be a 
farming business that could add value to rural products from our area and 
the other is just more University and retirement housing.  I for one am 
tired of seeing farms swallowed up by concrete and asphalt.

Lets face it, dry lands wheat is only profitable if you have tens thousands 
of acres.  The smaller old farms north of town have to find some other crop 
which will bring in the money to keep them from being swallowed by 
development.  So does drip irrigating crops make more sense to you than 
building a forest of more houses?

Phil Nisbet

Don’t just search. Find. Check out the new MSN Search! 

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list