- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WALLA WALLA, Wash. (AP) - Washington ecology officials have given their approval for the city of Walla Walla to store drinking water underground.

The plan to store water in nearby basalt aquafers is designed to ensure the community has a secure public water supply and to protect fish.

The move will allow the city to reduce its need for surface water from Mill Creek during hot summer months when fish need cool water to survive. During periods of high flow, water can be taken from the creek, treated and stored underground.

State water resources officials say the plan is a smart, forward-thinking approach to securing water in the long-term.

Instead of relying solely on Mill Creek surface water, storing it underground will allow the city to adapt to climate change impacts and wildfire.

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