Local Representative Senator Linda Evans Parlette, has introduced a bill at the request of her constituents in Okanogan County. Senator Parlette says it would require the Department of Ecology to give county commissioners notice of pending water-right transfers that will affect their constituents.
It has become increasingly difficult in recent years for water users to acquire new water rights. As a result, inter-basin water-right transfers – the transfer of a water right that occurs when the point of diversion is in a different basin than the proposed place of use – have become a valuable and necessary water-management tool.
Parlette’s bill, Senate Bill 5555, would require the state Department of Ecology to notify commissioners in the affected county or counties of a proposed inter-basin water-right transfer before issuing the permit.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Environment, Water and Energy Committee. It is scheduled for a public hearing Feb. 9.