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Washington Water Watch – October 2023

Summer Just Keeps Coming!

It is hard to believe that we are already in October, and hopefully we will see the return of our typical October weather. We desperately need the rain and the snow in the mountains, but so far we have had more sunny days than rainy ones. This is not good news for our water resources. Just last week the city of Seattle issued a request for voluntary water conservation because its reservoir levels are so low, and it will take a lot of rainfall to remedy the situation.

As climate change is disrupting the Northwest’s precipitation cycles resulting in less rain and higher temperatures that could create a water crisis impacting all of us from low flows for fish, to dried up wells, and mandatory water restrictions. More needs to be done to better prepare for these change.

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.

Last month, we hosted our annual event, Celebrate Waters, and it was a great success. We honored 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.

We could not have done it without the support of our sponsors, so a thank you to our Presenting Sponsors, the Johnson Family and the Quinault Indian Nation, as well as to our Stream Sponsors, Smith & Lowney, Morisset, Schlosser, Jozwiak & Somerville, Wrights Yachts and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.

I also wanted to send out a big thank you to our keynote speaker, John Echohawk, Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund, who talked about tribal water rights, and to all our friends who attended. We couldn’t do our work without you!


September 21 was a beautiful evening on the Seattle Waterfront as we hosted our annual Celebrate Waters event! We started with delicious food and the opportunity to see old friends and make new ones.

Native American Rights Fund Executive Director John Echohawk talked about the challenges tribes face with water rights as climate change lowers streamflows to critical levels. He also spoke to the necessity of educating the general public about treaty-reinforced tribal water rights and about the work tribes do, and have done, to protect the lands and waters of their homelands.We left inspired and honored to have him there with us.

Wenatchee River Salmon Festival Celebrates the return of the salmon

We had so much fun at Rocky Reach Dam on September 22 at the very first Community Day for the Salmon Festival! Robyn handed out our new bookmarks, and stickers and talked about ways to save water and how water policy needs to be updated.

WELCOME to all the new people we signed up for the newsletter!

This week, the US Energy Administration reduced its 2023 hydroelectric power forecast by 6% due to drought in Washington state. Washington is responsible for approximately half of the nation’s power generation.

This news comes one week after Seattle issued its first voluntary water restrictions since 1992, a move that hopes to prevent deeper restrictions this fall. Rains in late September provided some relief, but Seattle remains over 5″ below average rainfall.

Current projections for Washington for the rest of the year look dire, with little precipitation and warmer than average temperatures in the forecast.

Our members and supporters make our work protecting Washington’s waters possible. Thank you!

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.

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