Ellensburg Daily Record series on Yakima water plan

Over the past week, the Ellensburg Daily Record produced a series about the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan. Below are snippets from each article and a link so you can read the full story.

Advocates seek wider support from public – July 7, 2012

In the more than 30 years Urban Eberhart’s been involved with trying to increase water supplies in the drought-prone Yakima River Basin, he’s never seen a long-range water supply plan like this one.

Eberhart, a Kittitas Valley irrigation district board member and tree fruit and timothy hay grower, wants everyone to know about it.

A long-term water fix: Plan could rewrite water future – July 7, 2012

Proponents of the proposed Yakima Basin water resource management plan say it could alleviate water shortage and conservation issues the Yakima Basin has struggled with for decades.

The proposal has garnered widespread backing from a diverse assortment of stakeholders in the Yakima Basin, but some groups oppose elements of it. The proposed construction of two new dams and the creation of National Recreation Areas in the Okanognan-Wenatchee National Forest have proven the most controversial aspects of the plan.

The plan aims to address current and future water needs and improve water management in the Yakima River Basin. If implemented, it would add more surface water storage capacity in the Yakima Basin, create fish passage at dams, acquire and protect about 70,000 acres of private land and encourage water conservation.

Questions and answers about the water plan – July 7, 2012

Questions and answers about the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan:

Q: What is the Yakima Basin water plan?

 A: The plan is intended to address current and future water needs and improve water management in the Yakima River Basin.

Q: How much will the Yakima Basin Integrated Water Plan cost?

A: The plan could cost $3.2 million to $6 billion over 30 years. Some proponents have described it as one of the largest ecological restoration projects undertaken in the United States.

Yakima Basin water plan benefits fish, irrigators – July 9, 2012

During a drought year, Kittitas County Irrigation District farmers growing timothy hay watch water stop flowing and crops weaken. Fields become patchy as weeds take over.

It’s a scene supporters of the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan hope the proposal will eliminate in the future.

Long-term Water Fix: Recreation areas are a point of debate – July 10, 2012

Land conservation measures in the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Management Plan made it more appealing to some environmental organizations, but other groups have balked at a proposal to establish two new national recreation areas in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

A subcommittee formed by the working group that created the Yakima Basin water plan recommended creating national recreation areas in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The proposed national recreation areas would span about 140,000 acres of Upper Kittitas County.

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