Monday, May 22, 2006

Department of Ecology and Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association Enter into A Voluntary Agreement for New Water Use

The Draft Agreement
"CSRIA and Ecology are hereby engaging in a voluntary regional agreement (VRA), as authorized under ESSHB 2860 (Columbia River Bill) (Chapter xx, Session Laws of 2006). This VRA is intended to result in the approval of new water use on the Columbia River and Lower Snake River (at or below the Ice Harbor Pool) by the State of Washington. Consistent with the legislation enacted during the 2006 Legislative Session, new water uses resulting from the issuance of permits under this agreement shall not reduce streamflows in the Columbia River mainstem or on the Snake River mainstem during the critical periods established by the legislature. To meet this standard of protection, Ecology and CSRIA will pursue water conservation and other measures in a quantity sufficient to fully offset any new water uses in the months of July and August approved by the state for CSRIA members under this agreement." ... snip ....