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Just Water Alliance fights for water rights

from Just Water Alliance

Posted March 5, 2015

The Just Water Alliance,  a non-partisan group of citizens, farmers and landowners that demand an open, fair and transparent water planning process in the Skagit River watershed, is urging folks to pay attention and support the following bills:

As posted on their website:

1)  Request Support for Senate Bill 5801 (by Senator Pearson) – “The legislature finds that there is a critical need to establish a single purpose agency to administer Washington’s water resource laws and that the agency be directly accountable to the voters of this state.”

If passed, the bill would create a new water commission, thereby terminating the Department of Ecology’s role as manager of our State’s water supply. A public hearing was held by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Water & Rural Economic Development at 8am on Feb. 10th. Unfortunately, due to such short notice, we were unable to get to Olympia in time to testify. However, Tom Loranger, Ecology’s Water Resources Director, protested vehemently, as did lobbyist Bruce Wishart who obviously hasn’t paid attention to Ecology’s sorry history regarding water resources management practices during the past two decades.

So, what do we do now? Here are some suggestions:

* Read the Bill at: http://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5801&year=2015.

* Listen to Senator Pearson’s introduction and Watch the Hearing on TVW at:
http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID=2015020147

* If you agree to the Bill’s content, thank Senator Pearson for delivering the bill to the Legislature. His email is: kirk.pearson@leg.wa.gov … or call him at (360) 786-7676.

* File your comments on line by going to the first link above and clicking on the green box that says “Comment on this bill.” (Follow the instructions.)

Don’t forget this important fact: Washington State’s water belongs to everyone who lives here. Don’t let greedy special interests such as the Washington Water Trust and Skagit County’s Hearing Examiner (Wick Dufford) take your share away from you.

2) SB 5129, 5136, 5407 are making progress toward becoming law!  These bills would be an important step in relieving the horrible Skagit In Stream Flow Rules and the loss of water rights associated with it.  They are headed into Executive Session on 2/12/15 at 8:00am.

SB 5129

Concerning overriding considerations of the public interest in management of the waters of the state.

http://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5129&year=2015

SB 5136

Repealing an instream flow rule and adopting a new instream flow rule.

http://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5136&year=2015

SB 5407

Concerning existing lots and the Skagit instream flow rule.

http://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5407&year=2015

  • Those of you interested in keeping up with a House Bill proposed by Rep. Lytton, please make sure you take the time to read this bill and comment.  The foundation of this bill advocates for alternative solutions (piped water, trucked water, etc) to provide water in rural areas at a high cost to landowners and taxpayers.  As you can imagine, this is supported by the Swinomish Tribe, Skagit PUD and Anacortes. And most importantly, it fails to address the ONLY solution here is to fix the flawed 2001 Instream Flow Rule.  HB 1793 should be opposed.  It will become a precedent that continues to line the pockets of mismanagement at PUD and Ecology.

 

Information on the bill – http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1793&year=2015

Or, go directly here to comment – https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill/1793

Please take the time to comment on this bill.

  • The following Senate Bills have been introduced and need your support!  Please take time to click on the link, read each bill (1-4 pages each), and comment in support of water for rural landowners in the Skagit Watershed.  Only the Legislature can fix this issue and they need your support to do the job!
    1. SB 5129 – Concerning overriding considerations of the public interest in management of the waters of the state.
    2. SB 5131 – Concerning the Skagit instream flow rule.
    3. SB 5407 – Concerning existing lots and the Skagit instream flow rule.
    4. SB 5134 – Concerning base flows and minimum instream flows.
    5. SB 5135 – Ensuring that certain existing water uses are not subject to interruption.
    6. SB 5136 – Repealing an instream flow rule and adopting a new instream flow rule.
    7. SB 5491 – Maintaining reservations of water for certain future uses.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

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