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Washington Water Watch – September



As summer fades into fall we are (finally!) getting some rain, though the state is still experiencing drier-than-normal weather. It will take a lot of rain to make up for the current drought conditions resulting from our warm and dry spring and summer.

And now a new report is detailing how our aquifers are declining, and we are not getting the precipitation to refill them. Climate change is here, and we need to change how we manage water before taps run dry and our rivers disappear. Our current water management system is not prepared to handle these changes, and all water users are not equally impacted. As our water resources decline from the impacts of climate change more needs to be done to manage water in order to safeguard instream flows for fish, drinking water, and food crops.

That’s where CELP comes in. We are fighting to make Washington’s water management system more sustainable and equitable. But we can’t do it alone, with support from donors like you we will work to protect and restore our rivers, modernize Washington’s water policies, and educate Washingtonians about water conservation.

This month we are excited to once again host Celebrate Waters on September 21st at Ivar’s Salmon House. This year we are honoring retired Muckleshoot Water Resource Analyst/Hydrologist, Carla Carlson, with the Ralph Johnson Water Hero Award for her work protecting stream flows and tribal treaty rights, and welcoming keynote speaker John Echohawk, Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund.

I hope you can join us – be sure to purchase your tickets today!


Trish Rolfe, Executive Director

Buy Your Tickets NOW for Celebrate Waters, 2023!

Thursday, September 21, 2023, 5:00-7:30 pm

Tickets are $65 and available here — use code EarlyBird for $10 off!


email for more information.

Drought has been in the news, but how well do you understand the impacts, what needs to be done, and how you can make a difference?

Our recent post about the summer 2023 drought fills in some gaps and provides some ideas for how we move forward from here.

The American Water Resource Association Washington State Annual Conference

The conference will highlight water challenges throughout the four corners of Washington State and the innovative ways that individuals are dealing with those issue. Featuring speakers from each of the four corners of Washington with varying perspectives, including agriculture, government, and tribal nations, this promises to be an interesting day!

Check out our new water conservation bookmarks!

It’s easy to feel like water issues are too big for the acts of individuals to make much difference. But a river is made up of individual drops of water! Our new bookmarks have handy tips on how everyone in your house can conserve water.

Small steps = big change – together we can make a difference.

In Wenatchee?

Stop by our booth and say HI! on Saturday, September 23, 2023 at the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival! Robyn will be there with the new bookmarks, stickers and updates on our work!


New Status and Protections Considered for Four Water Bodies

In what would be a first for Washington state, the Department of Ecology is proposing to classify four water bodies as “Outstanding Resource Waters” – a special designation under the federal Clean Water Act that carries extra water quality protections and recognition. Read more here.

Public comments are accepted through September 27, 2023

Seeking Comments: Draft Municipal Water Law Policy (POL-2030)

The Washington Department of Ecology is reviewing and updating POL-2030, Municipal Water Law Interpretive, and Policy Statement, to be consistent with case law and recent Ecology decisions. As part of the process, they are seeking comments on a draft of the policy.

The Legislature passed the Municipal Water Law in 2003 to clearly define municipal water suppliers and help clarify the status of their rights. Ecology developed a Municipal Water Law Interpretive and Policy Statement, which was last updated in 2012.

We rely on our memberships to supply funds to help us act decisively and to provide strength to our voice as we work with agencies, government bodies, and leadership to create stronger water management policies.

Please consider joining us today.

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