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Know your water rights: Workshop for farmers, allies is Thursday in Carnation

Water supply for the farmers of today and tomorrow is the topic of a workshop by Sno-Valley Tilth, Snoqualmie Valley Preservation Alliance, Washington Land Trust and the King Conservation District, planned for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Carnation Library.

One of the most important requirements to farm successfully in the Snoqualmie Valley is an available and dependable supply of irrigation water. Although the Valley is surrounded and

often inundated with an abundance of water, the availability of that water for agriculture is limited to historic water rights that are publically documented.

No one knows for sure how many valid, historic water rights exist in the Valley. What is known is that new water rights are hard to get, and those legitimate, existing water rights, if not utilized, can be relinquished.

The legislature of the state has enacted several ways in which an agricultural community can protect its water rights. But this requires action from a local community.

Wishing to initiate the conversation about how to protect local water rights, local farmers contacted both a local Hydrologist and the Washington Water Trust, a non-profit, non- regulatory organization that has worked with farming communities throughout our state.

Thursday's public meeting is an avenue to learn what historic water rights exist, and how farmers and their allies might effectively protect and preserve those rights.

Before and after the meeting, there will be a time for one-on-one landowner consultations for those who have questions about the status of water rights on their properties. Any interested person is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Presenters at the meeting will be Amanda Cronin of the Washington Water Trust and Bob Pancoast, a Carnation resident, Compass Geo Hydrogeologist, and Executive Director of the East

King County Regional Water Association. Following the presentations, a discussion of potential options for the agricultural community will be led by local farmers Andrew Stout of Full Circle Farm and Erick Haakenson of Jubilee Farm.

This meeting will also be attended by representatives of the King Conservation District (KCD) and King County.

To learn more, call Haakenson at (425) 829-1865

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