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Washington Water Watch – April 2023

The Hopefulness of Spring

Spring is finally here, and we are all excited for the return of sunlight and 60-degree-plus days. This year we are entering spring with an average snowpack, and hopefully, it will continue to grow before the warm days arrive. Our snowpack is how we store water for use in the summer’s drier days, and our salmon rely on it to keep the flows in our rivers and streams cool and flowing as they return to spawn. Climate Change is changing our precipitation patterns and putting this process in danger as we receive more rain than snow in the mountains. We will have to make changes to our water management to make sure our salmon can continue to survive and thrive.

Earth Day is April 22nd this year, and this year let’s all make an effort to work to restore and protect our rivers, streams, and waterways for now and for future generations.

The Legislative session is coming to an end, and so far, our priorities are moving forward, including a bill that would require adding climate resilience to water system plans and a bill on drought preparedness to help plan how we respond to drought before it happens. CELP has made it a priority to make Washington’s water resource policies more equitable and more sustainable in light of the impacts of climate change, and we will continue working with our partners to do this in the, but we can’t do it alone.

CELP relies on donations from our supporters to continue this important work. If your membership to CELP has lapsed, please renew it online today at


Trish Rolfe, Executive Director

CELP Area of Impact Survey

The strength of our voice is amplified by the number of people we represent in an impacted area. Please take a moment to answer 3 very brief survey questions to help us better understand our community.

UN Releases Report on the Future of Water

“Water is our common future, and it is essential to act together to share it equitably and manage it sustainably…Globally, two billion people do not have safe drinking water and 3.6 billion lack access to safely managed sanitation, the report found… The global urban population facing water scarcity is projected to potentially double from 930 million in 2016 to between 1.7 and 2.4 billion people, in 2050.”

The 2023 UN World Water Development Report focuses on the need for global cooperation to alleviate the challenges of global water shortages.

Read more here.

Navajo Go To Supreme Court Over Water Rights Dispute

The Colorado River supplies water to over 40 million people in 7 states, yet most of the residents of the Navajo Nation lack access to reliable, drinkable water. As a decades-long drought continues, the Navajo rightfully demand that their right to water be addressed.

Read more here.

April Legislative Update

At the beginning of the 2023 Legislative Session, our legislative priorities focused on supporting two bills focused on building water resiliency into our current system and on killing any potential bill that emerged from the Joint Taskforce on Water Resource Mitigation (the Foster Taskforce).

The first of two bills we started the session supporting was the Drought Preparedness Bill (HB 1138). The second bill that we began the session supporting is the Drinking Water Resiliency Bill (SB 5094). Both of these bills are similar to bills that we supported that did not pass during the 2022 Legislative Session for various reasons.

Read more here.

News From the Board

At CELP’s board meeting in March, it was decided to add two new members and welcome the return of another. We look forward to working together!

Board Member Erik Hirst retires

CELP wants to thank retiring board member Eric Hirst for his participation on the board and his strategic direction on our work. We wish you well!


Sharon Haensly is an attorney practicing native law and the former staff attorney for both the Swinomish and Squaxin Island tribes.


Scott Schuyler is a member and lifelong resident of the Upper Skagit Tribe. He attended Skagit Valley College, The Evergreen State College, and the University of Washington. Serving as the Natural Resources Policy Representative for his Tribe since 1987, Scott has been instrumental in protecting the Skagit River from mining and other destructive activities..


Jean Melious returned to the board after a brief hiatus. Jean is a lawyer and a professor in the Environmental Studies department of Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University. She has practiced land use and environmental law for the past three decades.

CELP is pleased to welcome Robyn Lynn!

Robyn  is joining CELP as our new Development and Outreach Coordinator. She was born and raised in the Seattle area and comes to us after working with our partner, Puget Soundkeeper. She has an MA in Creative Writing-Nonfiction and enjoys using her love for words to engage people in becoming better stewards of the natural world.

Robyn is a gardener, beekeeper and chicken-herder who reads three books at a time and knits complicated Irish sweaters to relax. She lives with her partner Neil, and her service dog Fionn, on five forested acres on the Tulalip Reservation.  She’s very excited to be here and can be reached at  if you need assistance or a book recommendation.


Give Big, Washington’s Annual giving bonanza starts April 18-May1, 2023. Watch your email for reminders and help us reach a $5000 match!

Our members and supporters make our work protecting Washington’s waters possible. There are many ways to support CELP’s work. You can make a donation, share our emails and social media posts with your network, tell us why you support CELP’s mission, sponsor an event, and/or participate in CELP’s events and advocacy work. You can also make a contribution to CELP through Planned Gifts, including bequests and retirement plans.

Read more about CELP membership and supporting our waters here. We appreciate your support.

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