Ag In Review Wrap Up

Ag In Review Wrap Up

Ag In Review Wrap Up

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Over the last few days we've revisited some of 2014's top ag stories in the state. One major issue was a 65 foot long crack discovered in the Wanapum Dam, which prompted a reservoir drawdown. The crack was determined to be due to a mathematical error in the dam's original design calculations in which designers miscalculated the amount of concrete and reinforced steel necessary in the dam's construction to make it resistant to the force of the water continually pushing against it. Repairs were ongoing throughout the summer. Irrigators who depend on the reservoir were given permission to extend pipes for water during the growing season.

Wildfires and mudslides that followed in their wake destroyed homes, businesses, farmland, crops and livestock in several rural Washington communities. In October the Phoenix Festival, a benefit event to assist Washington residents whose homes were destroyed by wildfire, was held in Twisp. TwispWorks Executive Director Amy Stork told the Ag Network that 100% of the admission fee for the event was being donated to the Methow Valley long term recovery organization.

STORK: One of the things that the long-term recovery group is focused on is the fact that this is a huge wake-up call. This is not the last fire we'll experience and we need to be better prepared for the next event like this that happens.

In July Governor Inslee announced proposed updates to the state's water quality standards to be more protective of those who consume 175 grams of fish per day. Over the summer the state Department of Ecology held several public meetings to discuss the steps in updating the state's water quality standards for toxics, issuing a preliminary draft the end of September. The official draft is expected to be ready in early 2015.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.

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