Pateros is rejoicing the announcement that they will be the first to receive new water rights from the Department of Ecology. Thanks to a partnership with the US Bureau of Reclamation water from the drawdown of LakeRoosevelt will be made available to communities along the ColombiaRiver to support future growth.
Joye Redfield-Wilder, spokeswoman for the Department of Ecology, says the new water rights really open the door for Pateros to consider new homes and commercial development.
Redfield-Wilder says the process to access water can sometimes be complicated and some communities have been waiting nearly 20 years for additional water rights.
With the agreement now in place The Bureau of Reclamation will collect the $35 per acre-foot of water fee from the Department of Ecology who will in return collect the same amount from communities that eventually consume the water.
In case you are wondering exactly what is an acre foot of water- it is defined as the amount of water needed to cover an acre of land one foot deep in water. That is just shy of 326,000 gallons of water.