Water rights bill passes state Senate committee – Skagit Valley Herald

Another bad bill from our Republican controlled Senate.  Want to get around the rules to protect the water sources for rivers and aquifers for community waters sources so you can use as much as you want? Our state is legally charged with protecting water levels in rivers  for endangered salmon. In the Dungeness Basin, for example, the Dungeness River Management Team has brought together a wide array of stakeholders, for over 20 years, to come up with water management of the river and it’s flows. Now a couple of disgruntled people are pushing for a change that would give a workaround for collaborative processes like these. I doubt the Supreme Court would find this possible law constitutional, given their earlier ruling.

A state legislative bill that would give landowners a process for overwriting water use regulations tied to instream flow levels passed its first committee in the state Senate on Thursday. The bill, which passed the Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee, still needs to go through the Senate Rules Committee before it could see a floor vote, according to a news release from the office of Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe. Senate Bill 6584, sponsored by Pearson, would task the state Department of Ecology with devising a method of determining if a landowner’s water supply affects instream flow levels of a river, which the bill calls “proof of water reliance.” The bill is of importance to landowners in the Skagit River basin. A 2013 state Supreme Court ruling effectively revoked water rights from well users in the basin when the river is below a certain level. Brandon Stone reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)


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