Proposed Instream Flow Rule

Proposed Instream Flow Rule

Proposed Instream Flow Rule

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Ecology water section manager Keith Stoffel spoke to a group of concerned landowners at a recent meeting of the Citizens Alliance for Property Rights in Otis Orchards regarding the proposed instream flow rule for the Spokane River and the Spokane Valley Rathdrum Prairie aquifer system. Stoffel explained to the group the reasons behind the proposed rule.

STOFFEL: We're trying to get a voice for the river in the event that there is a interstate conflict over water between Washington and Idaho.

As far as existing water rights Stoffel had this to say.

STOFFEL: All the water rights that are out there today on the Washington side will be senior to the instream flow rule, and the rule will not apply to them. For the most part the rule will be junior to all senior water rights - all the players, their rights will not be subject to this rule.

Stoffel also said that the rule will not apply to landowners with existing wells and it will only apply to properties within the boundaries of the aquifer. Twenty municipal water districts provide water to people within the footprint of the aquifer. Stoffel also stressed that there is no existing conflict over water between Washington and Idaho.

STOFFEL: We're not in disagreement with Idaho. There's not a war going on here. We're working very cooperatively with them. They're encouraging us to move forward and get our adjudication done, get our instream flow rule in place so that we're both working on the same level and playing field if and when there's some sort of adjudication of the water rights on both sides of the line.

The proposed rule will be presented to the public soon when it will then be subject to public review and comment.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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