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WDFW declares emergency to assist Central Washington irrigators and protect fish


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) issued an emergency declaration designed to help farmers maintain or re-establish access to irrigation water from behind the Wanapum and Rock Island dams in Central Washington.

The declaration, which will remain in effect through April 30, applies to Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Kittitas counties. It comes in response to the discovery in late February of a cracked spillway at Wanapum Dam, operated by the Grant County Public Utility District near Vantage. Some irrigators’ intake pipes were left above the water line when the Wanapum Pool was drawn down to reduce pressure on the dam.

The Wanapum drawdown also has affected water levels be...

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