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Published on Friday, January 6, 2017

Water bills begin to surface

Recent Supreme Court decisions have thrown our state’s water management system into disarray. There is pressure on the legislature to find solutions and bills have already begun to emerge. On January 12 at 8 am the Senate Agriculture, Water, Trade and Economic Development committee will hear the first set of water bills.

One interesting proposal supported by AWC would facilitate the securing of water by the City of Spokane Valley (SB 5005) by authorizing the transition of the classification of certain agricultural water rights into municipal rights. Another bill up for hearing (SB 5003) is an attempt to create a fix to the problem created by the Foster vs. City of Yelm decision that profoundly limited the applicability of mitigation as a tool to secure access to water. We are supportive of the need for action and will be engaging through the session to address this issue. Comments welcome to Carl Schroeder on these or any other water matter this session.