The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Alice Day
WNPA Olympia News Bureau 

Public lands' surplus water rights could aid farmers, communities


Farmers, private businesses and neighboring communities could have more access to water if legislators succeed in requiring state agencies to lease surplus water rights on public land.

In prior sessions, some lawmakers have tried to push through legislation allowing local communities to tap into state-held water rights. Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, prime sponsor of House Bill 1000, said his proposal is an effort to have a conversation with the agencies about potential revenue from leasing unused water rights managed by the state Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW).

Co-sponsored by Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, and Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, the bill would require DFW to inventory and i...

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