Previous Lake Roosevelt Agreements

One of the main features of the Columbia Water Partnership is ongoing work to negotiate cooperative agreements with Tribal, Federal, Local and other partners to obtain water for in- and out-of-stream uses.

Agreement with the Colville Confederated Tribes

The Colville Confederated Tribes are a key partner in management of Lake Roosevelt. The Agreement in Principle with the Colville Confederated Tribes provides that the State of Washington will pursue replacement water for the Lake Roosevelt drawdown and will not seek additional drawdowns under the Columbia Water Partnership. It also provides for other joint work, including:

  • Provides for investigation of potential impacts of the Lake Roosevelt drawdown and compensation of the Colville Confederate Tribes for impacts
  • Creates an economic development capital fund for the Tribe
  • Creates a fisheries enhancement capital fund and provides for joint work on fisheries management
  • Provides for Tribal participation in investigation of the potential for new off-channel storage in the Columbia River system

Agreement in Principle with the Colville Tribes extended

November 09, 2005 By the joint action of Governor Christine O. Gregoire, Chairman Harvey Moses of the Colville Confederated Tribes, and Director Jeffrey Koenings of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Agreement in Principle signed in December of 2004 between the parties has been extended until September 30, 2006. The extension was necessary to allow the Columbia River Task Force to complete its work on a policy framework governing the state’s administration of the river’s water resources. The extension will also provide additional time to study potential impacts of a modest drawdown of the lake and to work with other interested parties with an interest in such an action, and to release funding provided by the legislature to implement the agreement. Funding is dependent upon the passage of policy legislation by the 2006 Legislature.

The Agreement in Principle with the Colville Tribes extended by yesterday’s signing becomes critically important in light of actions requested by plaintiffs in the ongoing Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion litigation in Judge Redden’s court. The state’s partnership with the Colville Tribes to carefully consider and mitigate for the potential effects of a modest drawdown of the lake stands in sharp contrast to the BiOp plaintiffs request for large scale summer drawdowns at Grand Coulee Dam with no consideration of the effects such actions would have on Lake Roosevelt or the people that live near it and depend upon it for their health and livelihood.

Governor Gregoire, in her comments at the signing, underscored the need to recognize the broad and overlapping interests in the management of Lake Roosevelt, and her concern for potential economic, cultural, resident fishery, and health effects resulting from actions which may not be well understood in advance. The Governor spoke of the agreement with the Colvilles as a model for the cooperative management of the lake and the river and invited other interests, including the Spokane Tribe and local governments, to join in the effort to ensure that this vital resource is thoughtfully managed in the future.

Addendum to Government-to-Government Agreement in Principle For Developing a Formal Memorandum of Agreement Between the State of Washington and The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation For the Lake Roosevelt Component of the State's Columbia River Water Resources Program

Gov. Gary Locke, Colville Tribes Sign Lake Roosevelt Water Agreement 01/04/2005 News Release