Washington State Department of Ecology - January 2, 2014

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Ecology watershed grants to help improve water supplies, support jobs and population growth in 8 counties

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is awarding grants to 12 jurisdictions and water management partners to help improve local and regional water supplies in basins with watershed plans.

The grant money comes from a $10 million appropriation authorized last year by the state Legislature to benefit water supplies and fish habitat in 10 of the state’s 62 distinct drainage basins (Water Resource Inventory Areas or WRIAs). The grants will support jobs and population growth in eight Washington counties: Chelan, Clark, Klickitat, Mason, Skagit, Spokane, Walla Walla and  Yakima.

Thirteen grants totaling $7.9 million are being awarded for work through June 30, 2015. The grants range in size from $36,000 to $2 million. The projects were developed by local watershed groups working with designated government agencies. The grant money will help address current and future water supply needs by:

Additionally, a portion of appropriated funds can be used for maintaining equipment in Ecology’s statewide stream gauging network and to support Ecology’s grant management work.  Grant awards are also planned for the remaining unobligated balance of just more than $1 million for statewide watershed plan implementation and the continued analysis of flow achievement needs in Washington watersheds.  

 “The Legislature has entrusted Ecology to fund projects that give us the best value and provide current relief or avoid future problems for competing demands on scarce water resources. The projects we are funding continue to implement watershed plans in our basins to benefit people, farms and fish,” said Water Resources Program Manager Tom Loranger.

“These local watershed projects are also vitally important for regional economies,” Loranger said. “They support local jobs and growth by helping give communities more certainty about water needs and availability that will help support future development.”

Grant funding comes from the Watershed Plan Implementation and Flow Achievement proviso of the 2013-15 Capital Budget – State Building Construction Account. For a complete list of projects go to: 2013-15 watershed grants.

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Media Contact:

Dan Partridge, 360-407-7139; cell, 360-480-5722 ;   dan.partridge@ecy.wa.gov

Bill Zachmann, Watershed Plan Implementation Grants Programs, 360-407-6548; cell, 360-280-9149

For more information:

Watershed Plan Implementation Grants  (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/funding/wsp-grant.html)

Water Resources Program (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/wrhome.html)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/socialmedia.html)