Department of Ecology News Release - July 1, 2015

Statements from Governor and Ecology about Senator Cantwell's legislation for Yakima Basin

Senator Cantwell's statement.

Governor Jay Inslee’s statement

“Senator Cantwell’s Yakima Basin legislation illustrates beautifully how Washingtonians are tackling 19th Century water problems with 21st Century solutions.

“We congratulate everyone who has worked so hard to craft a plan to address drought and climate change in one of the country’s most productive agricultural valleys.

“With the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, we’ve moved beyond those many years spent arguing in court.

“We’ve built this plan by first building partnerships, building trust and affirming that we can achieve water for all – growing communities, farms and industry, fish and the natural environment.

“We’re putting our heads together, imagining ourselves in the other person’s place, and showing we can land on shared values and, yes, achieve solutions for the 21st Century.”

Ecology Director Maia Bellon’s statement

“Sen. Cantwell’s bill is the right response at the right time and is emblematic of what we’re experiencing today across Washington and especially in the Yakima Basin – an unprecedented drought due to the lack of snowpack.

“Even as farmers are struggling to keep their crops alive, Washington has made historical investments in the Yakima Valley that we can replicate in other river basins where we struggle to meet all our water needs.

“In 2013, the Washington Legislature jumpstarted and committed funding to these important water enhancement projects in the Yakima Basin.

“Instead of fighting over water and struggling during a drought, we have a roadmap to success:

“This has been a long journey, and I want to applaud all of those who have been there every step of the way. We know this congressional support is a welcome and crucial step forward as we face more water shortages and climate change in the years to come.”

Contacts:

Joye Redfield-Wilder, Ecology’s communications, 509-575-2610, @ecycentral

Jaime Smith, Governor’s communications, 360-902-4136