Washington projects featured at White House as models for future
Yakima and Methow showcased in summit focused on water resources and sustainability
Lisa Pelly / Director of Trout Unlimited’s Washington Water Project
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(March 23, 2016) Wenatchee, Wash. A local project focused on fixing an aging irrigation-water delivery system garnered national attention as it was featured at the first ever White House Water Summit held Tuesday in conjunction with World Water Day.
The Methow Valley Irrigation District (MVID) project, a partnership between Trout Unlimited and the Washington Department of Ecology, is working to modernize a leaky and inefficient ditch system, providing security to MVIDs irrigators, additional water supply to the town of Twisp and significant enhanced stream flows for imperiled salmon and steelhead. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016.
Were very excited to see this project in the home stretch. It has been no small feat and partners including MVID, Washington Department of Ecologys Office of the Columbia River, Bureau of Reclamation, Senator Linda Parlette, Methow Conservancy and many funders such as Bonneville Power Administration, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Grant, Douglas and Rock Island PUDs and Washingtons Salmon Recovery Board have been invaluable, said Lisa Pelly, director of Trout Unlimiteds Washington Water Project. This was a big week for us and the Methow community. To see the Methow featured on a national scale and to hear future commitments about collaboration and coordination for Federal Agencies from the White House is inspiring for us as it should be for other communities.
The Methow was one of many commitments announced during Tuesdays Summit, which was geared toward addressing ongoing drought and the threat of climate change by enhancing water sustainability across the United States.
One of the greatest challenges we face is dealing with the impacts of climate change on our nations water, which is really the lifeblood of our economy, said Interiors Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor. We need to continue to develop collaborative strategies across each river basin to ensure that our nations water and power supplies, agricultural activities, ecosystems, and other resources all have sustainable paths forward.
Trout Unlimited was also pleased to hear Washington Senator Maria Cantwell using World Water Day to announce the national framework she has developed to deal with droughts, water supplies and water security. She featured Washingtons Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, a collaborative and creative solution for dealing with future water shortage and need in a changing climate and growing population as the national model for communities to look to the future for solutions. TU is proud to be part of the Yakima Plan, putting into action long term water supply solutions for communities, fish and agricultural in the Yakima Basin.
Im thrilled that our efforts in Washington state are producing real results and getting recognized by the White House, said Washington Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon in a statement from the department. Its exciting to know that together with our partners we are solving complex water resource problems that are now models that can be emulated in watersheds nationally and internationally.
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