New Grape Society Director & Water Rights Curtailed

New Grape Society Director & Water Rights Curtailed

New Grape Society Director & Water Rights Curtailed. I’m Greg Martin with Washington Ag Today.

After almost twenty years of service Deb Heintz is retiring as the Executive Secretary of the Washington State Grape Society. The Society has hired Ag Association Management in Kennewick to manage the business with Madi Clark serving as Executive Director. Clark has experience in the agricultural business management consulting industry where she has worked collecting and analyzing market data, creating and managing final presentations and databases, and meeting with large agricultural corporate clients.

Water rights that were among the earliest in the Territory of Washington to be used for irrigation have been shut off in tributaries of the Yakima River due to extreme drought conditions. Joye Redfield-Wilder with the Department of Ecology says some water rights go back into the 1800’s.

REDFIELD-WILDER: These creeks are fed by the mountain snow and they’re also fed by the aquifers but if we don’t get that snow and rain even those shallow aquifers start drying up and what’s happening is someone with an 1873 water right has to stop watering in order to protect someone with an 1872 water right or an 1869 water right so we’re talking pre-statehood. Before this Yakima Basin was part of Washington State, it was part of the territory.

And that’s Washington Ag Today. I’m Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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