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Reclamation green-lights water rights relinquishment 10/14/2010
The Lake Chelan Reclamation District is moving ahead with relinquishing some of its water rights. It will affect over 300 landowners to start, but the process won’t end there.

The district is providing irrigation to more acres than is permitted in its contract with the Federal Bureau of Reclamation. To come into compliance, the district is removing water rights from impervious lands – those covered by pavement, gravel and buildings.

During last night’s board meeting, General Manager Kem Carr said the district first looked to residential areas served by the pumping plants in the LC and A systems, which could free up about 75 to 80 acres.

Carr explained how the relinquishment could benefit future customers…"CLICK HERE" for Audio
Engineering Technician Rod Anderson said that out of the 383 landowners contacted so far, 11 percent responded with disputes or requests that the district plans to look into.

Ten Manson residents joined Tuesday’s meeting to give feedback and share concerns. Some of them wondered why they would stop receiving water where their houses and other buildings are on their properties.

But board member Bob Christopher said grounds underneath buildings were never intended for irrigation water in the first place."CLICK HERE" for Audio
Board member Arnold Baker added further comment, saying water assets for buildings are not its best use."CLICK HERE" for Audio
Manson resident Cynthia Dale asked the board if they had considered other options for coming into compliance with the Bureau.

Carr responded. "CLICK HERE" for Audio
Carr said that with the relinquishment option, the Reclamation District is losing about $12,000 in revenue because of the acreage being given up. He added that the district targeted the more residential areas first because they have the most impervious lands.

Christopher told the residents about the option of stopping irrigation to lawns and landscaped areas. "CLICK HERE" for Audio
Baker said the district needs those non-agricultural lands to draw in more revenue for operations.

Two residents asked about growers who are overplanting and using more water than they should be.

Carr said that’s a separate problem not related to the relinquishment process. "CLICK HERE" for Audio
The next board meeting is at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9 at the Reclamation office on Wapato Way in Manson.