Crosscut: Inslee focuses on Yakima irrigation project

By John Stang

January 24, 2013

Gov. Jay Inslee put his first bill into motion Thursday, which will try to boost the water supply to the Yakima River Basin.

“This is just the start of our agricultural jobs plan,” Inslee said.

Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, introduced the bipartisan bill Thursday at Inslee’s request. Inslee linked the bill to his interest in climate change, saying it will help deal with shrinking Cascade Mountains snow packs.

Some environmental organizations have concerns about Yakima river irrigation expansion plans but a number of major green groups support it.

The bill calls for allocating $23.6 million from the state’s capital budget for several projects at the headwaters of the Yakima River just west of Cle Elum. Inslee claimed the projects will create 316 jobs.

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