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Water Issues

Water, water every where – Nor any drop to drink

The Whatcom Excavator


WE suppose you know that northwest Washington is a rain forest. What you may not know is that some people are trying to gin up the idea that water is scarce around here; that we’re on the brink of a water shortage (or something), and (wait for it) that water needs to be rationed by a cadre of self-appointed busybodies and shake-down artists. Radical curtailment of both access to water and land use are being actively discussed right here in Whatcom County.  Is there a target on private landowner’s backs?  Yes, indeed there is. Continue reading

Study: New Water Quality Standards Would Cost Billions, Produce Little Benefit

‘Fish Consumption’ Issue Could Mean $200-a-Month Sewer Bills — Business, Local-Government Organizations Sound Alarm as Ecology Seeks Standards No One Can Meet

By Erik Smith 
Washington State Wire

Boise Cascade’s Wallula mill: Pulp and paper industry would be sharply affected.

OLYMPIA, Dec. 10.—$200-a-month sewer bills, anyone? Business and local governments are sounding a new warning about a Department of Ecology plan to impose water-quality standards so tough no one can meet them, releasing a study that points to staggering costs and not much environmental benefit.

Impact would be in the billions of dollars, yet the results still wouldn’t comply with the new state rules, says the report from HDR Engineering. Perhaps more important, the water really wouldn’t be that much cleaner. In fact, if you start totting up the greenhouse-gas emissions the policy would cause and other potential environmental harms, you get the idea the state might be trading one problem for another.

The study, commissioned by the Association of Washington Business, the Association of Washington Cities and the Washington State Association of Counties, calls attention to an issue that brings apocalyptic visions to the statehouse. By the end of 2014, the state Department of Ecology plans to adopt new rules for surface-water discharges that either would be the most stringent in the country, or else would be tied for first with Oregon. The groups say compliance costs would be so enormous the state ought to think twice. Their argument comes with a dollop of self-interest, of course, but it raises an interesting point. The agency can’t challenge the study, because it hasn’t done a cost-benefit analysis of its own. Nor is it likely to. Continue reading

Klamath task force reaches water agreement

Posted 12/5/2013

Seattle P-I

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Ranchers and the Klamath Tribes signed a tentative deal Monday in Klamath Falls for sharing water in the drought-stricken Upper Klamath Basin.

The rest of a special task force on water issues were to join them Tuesday at the Oregon Institute of Technology to announce the 17-page agreement in principle. Continue reading

Dungeness Water Rights Seed First Water Exchange in Western Washington

from Washington State Department of Ecology

Posted 12/3/2013

Sequim, WA — With negotiations finally accomplished and operational details in place, Washington Water Trust and the Dungeness Water Users Association are proud to announce the purchase of 175 acre feet of water rights which will hydrate the Dungeness Water Exchange, a program of Washington Water Trust and provide mitigation credits for new water withdrawals.

The Dungeness Water Exchange is the first water exchange or water bank of its kind in western Washington. It provides mitigation in the Dungeness watershed to offset new water use as required by the 2013 Water Management Rule signed by the Department of Ecology (Ecology). Continue reading

Controversy over Whatcom Co. water wells

The Bellingham Herald

Posted 11/29/2013

BELLINGHAM, WASH. — Conservative property-rights advocates are worried about proposed restrictions on wells they fear could mean the end of the rural way of life in Whatcom County.

The well controversy arose after environmentalists challenged county rules that they believe don’t do enough to protect water resources.

In response, the state Growth Management Hearings Board issued a ruling that could block property owners from drawing water from their wells, if the basin where they live is closed to new water rights. The county has appealed the ruling to the state Court of Appeals. Continue reading

Board of Supervisors drops objection to Nature Conservancy’s water use

By Kevin Dickinson 
Siskiyou Daily

Posted Nov. 14, 2013 @ 12:00 pm 


The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors voted to withdraw its protests regarding eight petitions filed by The Nature Conservancy to dedicate its water rights to in-stream flow. Streams affected include Little Springs Creek, Big Springs Creek and the Shasta River. Continue reading

Private-Public Water Partnership, UN Agenda 21

By Dr. Ileana Johnson
for Canada Free Press


Posted 10/25/2013


“Your failure to be informed does not make me a wacko.”—John Loeffler

Water is a precious and scarce commodity for some nations who are geographically located in areas prone to draught or with a predominant desert landscape.

It is priceless in certain locales and so abundant in others that the marginal utility of an additional gallon of water is very low. When something is overabundant people tend to abuse it.

Water pollution affects industrialized, developing, and under-developed nations. We should not worry though, the United Nations has a plan for that; we are living in the “water for life decade 2005-2015.” Its website, “UN Water,” proclaimed at the January 8-10, 2013 conference, “Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen!

How is this going to happen? It is called “water diplomacy,” forming private-public partnerships, “supporting all stakeholders, including those in governments, international organizations, private sector, civil society, and academia at an appropriate level while considering cultural aspects in different cooperation initiatives.” It sounds purposefully complex and confusing but it is just another arm of the United Nations’ ever encroaching agenda. Continue reading

National Blueway System causes concerns over water and property rights

Chairman Hastings Seeks Further Information on Interior Department’s National Blueways Order

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28, 2013 – House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) today sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell seeking further information about the implementation of the National Blueways Secretarial Order. Signed by Secretary Salazar in 2012, this Order establishes a National Blueways System and gives authority to the Secretary to designate entire watersheds as “National Blueways.” There are growing concerns that the Order has the potential to impose land and water use restrictions and undermine property rights. Continue reading

EPA Study Could Be Used To Expand Reach of Law Over Waters

By Amena H. Saiyid
Bloomberg BNA

Posted 10/11/2013

Sept. 26 — Federal regulators may be able to assert Clean Water Act jurisdiction over more waters and wetlands than are now protected on the basis of a draft scientific study that links all streams and certain wetlands with larger, downstream navigable waters, attorneys and policy analysts say.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s draft study finds that all tributary streams, including perennial and the previously unprotected intermittent and ephemeral streams, are physically, chemically and biologically connected to downstream rivers.

The study, released Sept. 17, also finds that wetlands and open waters in flood plains of rivers and riparian areas also are connected in the same way as streams are to downstream rivers. Continue reading

Citizen’s group challenging GMA ruling in San Juan County

Posted 10/8/2013

by Jeff Rhodes
for The Olympia Report


Members of a local citizens group have filed an appeal in Superior Court of recently adopted updates to San Juan County’s Growth Management Act, claiming their aim is to block development entirely rather than address the potential impact of specific projects.


San Juan County, WA – Believing that the San Juan County Growth Management Board failed to address several critical and fatal flaws in its December 2012 Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO), both Common Sense Alliance and the Taggares Co. on Wednesday filed petitions for review of the board’s decision in Superior Court.

The court will be asked to stay the Growth Board order to remove the pressure of any compliance deadline.

At issue is whether the CAO was written in such a way as to address the effects of of specific development — as the law requires — or as an obstacle to all development. Continue reading

Swinomish win water rights case against Ecology

By Rachel Lerman
Skagit Valley Herald

Posted 10/7/2013

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state Department of Ecology overstepped its authority in a water rights decision that would allow rural landowners to gain access to water.

The 6-3 ruling invalidates Ecology’s amendment to the 2001 Skagit River Instream Flow Rule and reverses a 2010 trial court decision against the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.

The Swinomish objected to Ecology’s use of the “overriding consideration of public interest” provision, saying new water withdrawals from the basin by rural landowners put salmon in danger.

The high court ruled that Ecology’s amendment, which created 27 reservations of water that could be used for noninterruptible uses, exceeded the agency’s authority because it is too broad. Continue reading

Judge says water right fee is invalid

The Recorder

Posted 9/18/2013

A disputed fee charged to California water rights holders is invalid, a judge says in a proposed decision, because insufficient connection exists between the amount charged, the benefits received and the burdens imposed by those who pay the bill. In his proposed decision, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Raymond Cadei said that the State Water Resources Control Board should not “apply or enforce” the fee, which it has imposed since the 2003-04 fiscal year.

The California Farm Bureau Federation challenged the fee as an unconstitutional tax, because those who pay the fee bear a disproportionate burden of funding the water board’s Division of Water Rights. Judge Cadei agreed, noting that “no fees are assessed against the holders of approximately 38 percent of all water rights in California,” and that the fees pay more than a minimal amount “for activities that benefit the public in general.” Continue reading

Small Growers Worry New Rules Will Shut Down Farms

Posted 9/18/2013

For small farmers, some seeds of change are being sown, as the 10-month comment period for a rule that would change the way farmers grow, harvest and store produce winds down over the next couple months.

The Food Safety Modernization Act, called a “sweeping reform of our food safety laws” by the FDA, was signed into law by President Obama in January, 2011. FDA Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor says the law aims to prevent the introduction of biohazards and protect consumers from the threat of food-borne illnesses. But more than two years later, the proposed rule specifically governing the way farmers produce fruits and vegetables is still being hammered out—and many local and organic farmers are more than a little wary.   Continue reading

Trust? WA Water Trust?

Posted on September 17, 2013 10:44 am by Pearl Rains Hewett Comment

Have we been set-up? by the Washington Water Trust and the Clallam County Commissioners

AS NON-BENEFICIARIES of a charitable and honorary trust, which does not have actual beneficiaries. That has INSTEAD a BENEFICIAL PURPOSE that substitutes for named or identifiable beneficiaries?

AND AS NON-BENEFICIARIES? OF THE WA WATER TRUST SHALL WE THE PEOPLE OF CLALLAM COUNTY BE DENIED THE BENEFITS OF A TRUST which requires the trustee to manage the trust solely for the beneficiaries and to avoid conflicts of interest between trustee’s interests and beneficiaries’ interests? Continue reading

Defending Citizens’ Water




Bottom Line

Failure to use or comply with EPA’s best Available science for American Family water usage?



Clallam County REPRESENTATIVES complete disregard of EPA family and individual WATER USAGE DOCUMENTATION?

EPA The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home.

EPA Each American uses an average of 100 gallons of water a day at home. Continue reading

What is “Rural Cleansing”?


Posted by icthe4est
Western Water Rights

Posted 8/22/2013

≈ 1 Comment

This week, the Western Ag Reporter showcased this old Wall Street Journal article from July 2001 that should remind us all that many forces are working toward removing people from their land in rural areas throughout the country.

The article below helps put into perspective the Department of Interior meeting with the Flathead Joint Board of Control a few weeks ago.  Western Montana must really be on the feds radar.  Over the past several months, they’ve sent two letters (Letter 1)  (Letter 2) and called a “special” meeting to make sure people know that short of a water compact, they have no problem increasing instream flows via whatever means necessary, up to and including invoking the Endangered Species Act for Bull Trout.


By Kimberley A. Strassel. Ms. Strassel is an assistant editorial features editor at the Wall Street Journal

Federal authorities were forced to cut off water to 1,500 farms in Oregon’s and California’s Klamath Basin in April because of the “endangered” sucker fish. The environmental groups behind the cutoff continue to declare that they are simply concerned for the welfare of a bottom-feeder. But last month, those environmentalists revealed another motive when they submitted a polished proposal for the government to buy out the farmers and move them off their land.

This is what’s really happening in Klamath — call it rural cleansing — and it’s repeating itself in environmental battles across the country. Indeed, the goal of many environmental groups — from the Sierra Club to the Oregon Natural Resources Council (ONRC) — is no longer to protect nature. It’s to expunge humans from the countryside. Continue reading

Freedom supporters named ‘enemy’ of this government agency

by GlenMorgan
for Freedom Foundation

Posted 8/18/2013


The Freedom Foundation has been in the news lately for filing information requests with a handful of state agencies. You can read a few of these news articles here

The Puget Sound Partnership was one of these agencies. One of the ways Puget Sound Partnership spent your tax dollars last year was to hire a consultant group to create a 14-page “messaging document.” This outside consultant reviewed all the press releases and stories related to shoreline master plans (SMPs) in Washington State and had some interesting things to say about the “opposition.” Apparently, according to their 2012 messaging guide, if you support freedom and prosperity, then you are the “opposition.”  Continue reading

Judge delays release of Trinity water for Klamath salmon

Capital Press

Posted 8/14/2013


FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily halted plans to release water from the Trinity River to protect Northern California salmon.

The Fresno Bee ( says the judge in Fresno halted Tuesday’s planned release and pushed it back to Friday so the court can have time to examine arguments by opponents.

The federal government plans to release up to 100,000 acre-feet of water from a reservoir in the next few weeks to protect salmon in the Klamath River, downstream from the Trinity. Continue reading

The Sequim-Dungeness “Water” Issue

Commentary by Steve Marble

for Citizen Review Online

 Posted 8/4/2013


Sequim, WA – In early July the Washington Realtors gave classes in Sequim and Port Townsend for Realtors and other interested parties to bring them up to speed on the new rules governing water use in the Dungeness basin and Eastern Jefferson County. The first half of the class was presented by Washington water attorney, Bill Clark. Participants were treated to the genesis of the water laws that brought us to where we are today.


“The Water Resources Act of 1971” was an overly broad bill passed by the legislature which allows (not requires) Department of Ecology to set instream flows by agency rule “to provide for preservation of wildlife, fish, scenic, aesthetic and other environmental values and navigational values”. Ecology’s heavy handed approach in Kittitas County caused the Commissioners to, in essence, tell Ecology to stuff it. Unfortunately the Washington Supreme Court sided with Ecology. Kittitas County was humbly required to do Ecology’s bidding. Continue reading

“Spatial” planning on Washington’s Pacific Coast

Before you begin reading the commentary below, a few terms might need to be defined:

Spatial planning, according to Wikipedia, refers to the methods used by the public sector to influence the distribution of people and activities in spaces of various scales. Discrete professional disciplines which involve spatial planning include land useurbanregionaltransport and environmental planning. Other related areas are also important, including economic and community planning. Spatial planning takes place on local, regional, national and international levels and often result in the creation of a spatial plan.

There are numerous definitions of spatial planning. One of the earliest definitions comes from the European Regional/Spatial Planning Charter[1] (often called the ‘Torremolinos Charter’), adopted in 1983 by the European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional Planning (CEMAT): “Regional/spatial planning gives geographical expression to the economic, social, cultural and ecological policies of society. It is at the same time a scientific discipline, an administrative technique and a policy developed as an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach directed towards a balanced regional development and the physical organisation of space according to an overall strategy.”

Numerous planning systems exist around the world. Especially in Northwestern Europe spatial planning has evolved greatly since the late 1950s.

 “Ocean Acidification” is another Agenda 21 term for the supposedly “endangered” oceans with a changing pH balance. According to Science and Public Policy, this is just another “global warming” scare to achieve control of the people.  See the Science and Public Policy story here.  (Or down the pdf here – acid_test.)







Comment by Pearl Rains Hewett

Posted 7/26/2013

Written comments will be accepted until 5 pm, September 23, 2013
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)
After a long and trying session, Washington lawmakers approved $3.7 million for coastal and marine spatial planning onWashington’s Pacific Coast in their final budget on June 27th 2013.
Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council (WCMAC) under the executive office of the governor

Bureau of Reclamation approves $5 billion integrated water plan

by David Lester

Posted 7/19/2013

An ambitious and expensive plan to meet future Yakima River Basin water needs for people and fish has passed a milestone.

The road ahead, however, will be long and will require substantial public and private investment to make it a reality.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation has adopted the potentially $5 billion proposal as the approach it intends to pursue over what could be the next 30 years if Congress provides authorization and funding.

Earlier this month, the agency issued what’s called a record of decision backing the seven major elements of an integrated plan — a mix of surface and groundwater storage, fish passage, land and habitat protections, water conservation, water marketing and operational changes. Continue reading

Whose community is it? Question raised where NGOs offer predetermined outcomes for Clallam County Shoreline

July 13, 2013 10:38 am 




My Clallam County SMP comment
There are 3300 vested private property owners
PRIVATE Landowners are the stewards of this critical zone
Those who live in the same COMMUNITY area
affected by the Clallam County SMP Update

From: zSMP Continue reading

Property Rights Are Not Secure in Washington State


By Preston Drew, President,
Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights

Posted 7/6/2013


In 2008 the Washington State Court of Appeals threw out the most controversial section of the 2004 King County Critical Areas Ordinance, which was a provision that called for the set aside of as much as 65% of a rural landowner’s property when applying for a land use permit. The Supreme Court then refused to hear King County’s appeal, thus rendering the Appeals Court decision settled law. Yet the King County administration refuses to change the code to reflect the Appeals Court decision. When queried recently the reply was “Oh, we just don’t enforce that clause”.

Why? Aren’t county officials obligated to have the code reflect the law? Continue reading

PLF Wins Case Against Offsite Mitigation Extortion!

Posted 7/6/2013

Whatcom Excavator

Whatcom County, WA – In January WE shared news that the Supreme Court accepted a case fought by Pacific Legal Foundation related to wetlands mitigation for land disturbance, “Koontz v. St. Johns River Management District.”

We are happy to report that they won, and that nexus and proportionality really do matter.  


Additional information at the PLF site. Continue reading

Agenda 21 and Your Use of Water…

By Sue Forde,
for Citizen Review

Posted 7/6/2013

Recently, I checked the UN Agenda 21 (ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability) website, to see the list of cities and counties that are still members of ICLEI.  Lo and behold, the website has REMOVED the list.  With the most recent withdrawal from ICLEI by Boston, Massachusetts bringing the number of cities and/or counties now to 138, it would appear that the ICLEI folks may be getting a little nervous that their scheme is being found out by too many people.  (You can see the listing of cities and counties as preserved by another website, here.)

Checking Rosa Koire’s website (author of “Behind the Green Mask: UN Agenda 21“), I found an “agreement” to be signed by cities and/or counties concerning water usage and the limiting thereof.  Since we are facing the precedent of limiting water here on the North Olympic Peninsula (new homes and/or “new use” on properties in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley are limited to 150 gallons of water per day for indoor use only, with an initial “mitigation” fee for the privilege, and NO outdoor watering allowed), I found this a very interesting piece of “connect-the-dots” to Agenda 21. Continue reading

Feds Taking State Water?

Posted July 3, 2013

A rose by any other name is still a….


See below actions taken by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings on AMERICAS-GREAT-OUTDOORS-RIVERS-Secretary-Salazar-Creates-National-Blueways-System


APPOINTED OBAMA FEDERAL AGENCIES PROVIDE no public input, no consultation, and little transparency

As well as its impact on more than a century of federal deference to STATE WATER LAW.



SOVEREIGNTY TOP AUTHORITY supreme authority, especially over a state Continue reading

Yakima Basin water plan becomes law

By Steve Brown

Capital Press

Posted 7/1/2013

OLYMPIA — As state legislators wrapped up their second special session, they approved a bill to make more water resources available in Central Washington during droughts.

All but two legislators voted in favor of the final version of Senate Bill 5367, which was delivered to Gov. Jay Inslee on June 29. Spokeswoman Jamie Smith said he signed the bill into law June 30.

“The Yakima Basin has repeatedly suffered droughts that not only deprive the region of water, but drain hundreds of millions of dollars from the economy of Central Washington,” Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, primary sponsor of the bill, said. “This bill will not only help to prevent those economic disasters in the future, but has the added benefit of improving the natural habitat for salmon in the upper reaches of the Yakima River. It’s a great example of a win-win bill.” Continue reading

Irrigation backers rally in Klamath Falls

Posted 7/1/2013

Capital Press

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Ranchers from the upper Klamath Basin and their supporters are rallying Monday to call attention to the impact of an irrigation shut-off.

The Klamath Falls Herald and News reported ( ) they planned to drive pickup trucks and other agricultural vehicles from the fairgrounds to the Klamath County Government Center downtown.

Each location features a giant bucket erected after a drought led to irrigation restrictions in 2001, and many of the protesters called themselves the Bucket Brigade. Drought this year has again led to the curtailing of some irrigation in the basin. Continue reading

So far, Dungeness Water Bank usage just a drop in the bucket

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

Posted 6/27/2013

SEQUIM –– Water users have requested just 0.0904 acre-foot of water from the 604.9 acre-feet available in the Dungeness Water Exchange, which was formed
Jan. 2 as part of the state’s Dungeness water rule.

Amanda Cronin of the Washington Water Trust, the nonprofit that manages the water bank, updated the exchange’s advisory council last week on transactions from the bank thus far.

“There’s going to be a lot of water in the bank for mitigation,” Cronin said.  Continue reading

Lake Quinault closed to all non-tribal use, including boats and swimming

by David Haviland

Posted 6/27/2013

LAKE QUINAULT, Wash. – Lake Quinault is closed to all non-tribal activities including fishing, swimming, and boating. Quinault Nation President Fawn Sharp tells KBKW “Closure of the lake was a decision made by the Quinault government after many years of disregard toward our resources, rights, regulations and policies.

“The ban involves all uses of the lake itself. That includes all boats and all non-tribal fishing. Tribal fishing is still allowed, as long as it is within tribal regulations. 

Asked when restrictions would be lifted, Sharp said “A far better approach will be to realize the error of treating our lake as a sewer, and committing in a formal sense to recognizing the jurisdiction of the Quinault Nation over its lands and waters.

The Quinault Business Council approved a resolution on June 4th, 2013, prohibiting swimming and boating on the lake, it will be up the business council to decide whether it will be reopened to the public. Continue reading

Ranchers seek stay in Klamath water dispute


Capital Press

Posted 6/17/2013

Klamath County, Oregon – Ranchers who rely on water from the Sprague River in Klamath County, Ore., are worried about staying financially viable as they seek to resolve a water rights dispute.

On June 14, a state judge refused to issue a temporary restraining order that would have prevented Oregon water officials from shutting off irrigation water to the 39 ranches.

Elizabeth Howard, an attorney for the ranchers, said they will likely be back in court within the next month seeking a stay that would postpone the shutdowns until legal proceedings over tribal water rights are completed. Continue reading

Ranchers seek court order to stop water shutoffs

Posted 6/14/2013

Capital Press

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Some of the ranchers facing irrigation shutoffs in the upper Klamath Basin are asking a judge to stop state officials from enforcing newly recognized water rights held by the Klamath Tribes.

Klamath County Circuit Judge Cameron Wogan has scheduled hearings Friday in Klamath Falls.

State watermasters started telling ranchers Wednesday that they had to stop irrigating in order to be sure enough water remains in the Sprague, Williamson and Wood rivers to meet senior water rights held by the tribes, which are using them to protect endangered fish. Continue reading

Aberdeen, Idaho irrigation company plans for tight water supply

By JOHN O’CONNELL, Capital Press

ABERDEEN, Idaho — Growers with Southeast Idaho’s Aberdeen-Springfield Canal Co. will soon exhaust their share of natural flows in the Upper Snake River about a month ahead of normal, and will then have just 48 percent of their typical reservoir storage.

To help his 400 water users covering 62,000 acres get the most of a meager water supply and finish irrigating high-value crops this season, the company’s general manager, Steve Howser, has devised a multi-faceted approach he said will require members to sacrifice and cooperate.

He aims to buy an extra two or three weeks of irrigation time, but unseasonably hot weather has added to his challenges. Continue reading

Klamath Tribes and federal government put out historic call for water rights in drought-stricken Klamath Basin

By Scott Learn, The Oregonian

June 10, 2013

Drought is already hitting the Klamath Basin, as it has in years past, and the water call by tribes and the federal government will put great pressure on irrigators in the upper Klamath Basin.The Oregonian file

The Klamath Tribes and the federal government called their water rights in southern Oregon’s Klamath Basin for the first time Monday, likely cutting off irrigation water to hundreds of cattle ranchers and farmers in the upper basin this summer.

The historic calls come after Oregon set water rights priorities earlier this year in the basin, home to one of the nation’s most persistent water wars. Drought has cut water flows in upper basin rivers to 40 percent of normal. Continue reading

Opposition forming to massive Texas water plan Read more here:

By Dave Montgomery

Posted 6/5/2013

AUSTIN — After pushing a landmark water initiative through the 83rd Legislature, proponents are now gearing up for their next challenge — selling the package to voters.

If ratified in the Nov. 5 election, the proposed constitutional amendment would create a state water development bank that supporters say is vital to help Texas avert a worsening water shortage over the next half-century.

The unfolding campaign appears almost certain to match the contours of the legislative debate, balancing the need to keep Texas economically vibrant with a robust water supply against Tea Party-fueled opposition over spending rainy-day money on the multibillion-dollar program.

Nine other amendments are heading to the state’s 13 million-plus voters, but Senate Joint Resolution 1 is easily the farthest-reaching. Senate Natural Resources Chairman Troy Fraser, a chief proponent, said he hopes to muster “an army of people” into the campaign to push the measure to victory. Continue reading

Water dispute clouds future for Whatcom County farms, factories

Posted 6/4/2013


Everyone involved in Whatcom County’s water rights disputes seems to agree that a local settlement would be a good idea, but representatives of Lummi Nation have made it clear they will not sacrifice Nooksack River salmon to benefit farms, industries or cities.

Speaking at a May 30-31 water supply symposium at the Hampton Inn in Bellingham, Lummi Nation attorney Diana Bob said the facts were clear.

“We have fish dying in the Nooksack River because we do not have sufficient flows,” Bob said. “That is an unacceptable proposition to Lummi.”

The flow of water in the Nooksack and its tributaries is reduced by withdrawals of water for the city of Bellingham and Cherry Point industries, but Whatcom County farms withdraw even more to irrigate raspberries and blueberries. River water is also used to irrigate cow pastures in dry months. Continue reading

Initiative would recognize hydropower as renewable


Capital Press

SALEM — One down, 87,212 to go.

Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner, has kicked off a petition drive to place an initiative before voters that calls for the state to recognize hydropower as a renewable energy source.

Petition supporters need to submit 87,213 valid signatures to the Secretary of State by July 3, 2014, for the initiative to qualify for the November 2014 ballot.

In a small ceremony in his office at the Capitol May 23, Smith was the first to sign the petition. Continue reading

Water war between Klamath River farmers, tribes poised to erupt

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — For decades this rural basin has battled over the Klamath River’s most precious resource: water that sustains fish, irrigates farms and powers the hydroelectric dams that block one of the largest salmon runs on the West Coast.

Now, one of the nation’s fiercest water wars is on the verge of erupting again.

New water rights have given a group of Oregon Indian tribes an upper hand just as the region plunges into a severe drought.

Farmers and wildlife refuges could be soon cut off by the Klamath Tribes, which in March were granted the Upper Klamath Basin’s oldest water rights to the lake and tributaries that feed the mighty river flowing from arid southern Oregon to the foggy redwoods of the Northern California coast. Continue reading

Where is the West’s water?

Range Magazine

A 2006 New Mexico State University study by Ric Frost of the Lincoln National Forest highlights the impact of overgrown forests on water consumption in the drought ravaged west.  According to the study, the forest historically contained 300 to 500 one-foot in diameter trees per acre.  In the early 1990’s the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) eliminated all logging within the forest and tree density rapidly increased to a range of 1,000 to 5,000 trees per acre.  Continue reading

Whatcom County destroys the environment in order to save it

Freedom Foundation Liberty Blog
by Glen Morgan

as posted on the Whatcom Excavator

April 23, 2013

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, AP Correspondent Peter Arnett attributed a quote from an American Army Major after the destruction of the Vietnamese Village Ben Tre, “It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.”  This quote, which is still controversial, was repeated frequently by the anti-war protesters as an illustration of the lack of logic in the Vietnam conflict.

Today, this is also official policy and business as usual at Whatcom County as they require property owners to destroy wildlife habitat and wetlands in order to save the wildlife and wetlands.  Last Friday I visited with a property owner – Joe Remenar in North Whatcom County near Blaine.  Not far from the Martin property which I discussed in this post a few weeks ago. Continue reading

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