Yakima River Basin Plan Passes Pt 2

Yakima River Basin Plan Passes Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I'm Bob Larson. Water for everyone! That was the feeling when I spoke with U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse after the House followed the Senate's lead by passing Phase III of the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project last week.

He sounded a bit like a proud papa when talking about the 363 to 62 passage of HR 1048 ...

NEWHOUSE ... "I gotta tell you, I couldn't be more delighted that we were able to get this accomplished. It will really provide a tremendous amount of benefit for all water users in the Yakima River Basin, from agriculture to industry to our local communities, even provide a lot of benefits and increased enhancements to the environment and habitat for fish. So, it really is a tremendous thing that we were able to do."

Newhouse says the state's been behind it for a long time, but getting the feds on board was crucial ...

NEWHOUSE ... "Washington state itself is in a great partnership in providing assistance in the Yakima Basin, and now the federal government is stepping up to the plate and providing the participation that it must as well. Since the project does include, involves federal land this was absolutely a necessary step for us to take."

He says the bipartisan vote shows its validity ...

NEWHOUSE ... "I firmly believe that the Yakima work group, the implementation committee are a model for the rest of the nation to follow to address divisive issues."

The package now heads to President Trump's desk to be signed into law.

The Yakima River Basin Plan would:

• Provide greater water supply reliability for farmers and communities.

• Secure the water that communities need to meet current and future demand.

• Protect over 200,000 acres of currently unprotected forest, shrub steppe, and river habitat.

• Enhance habitat along the Yakima River and its tributaries.

• Implement water marketing and banking so that water

is more easily delivered when and where needed.

• Build fish passage to allow salmon, steelhead, and bull trout to travel throughout the basin.

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