Washington Governor proposes water supply legislation


From KING5.com Staff and Wire Reports

OLYMPIA - Governor Gary Locke Thursday announced new legislation he said will help secure long-term water supplies while protecting the environment.

"I believe that Washington has enough water to meet all of our needs. We just need to manage it better," Locke said.

Two bills Locke proposed Thursday would address unresolved issues surrounding the management and use of water rights by municipal water suppliers.

Another bill would allow watershed or regional water banks to be created and simplify the process of transferring a water right to a state trust.

Locke has proposed a $16 million package in the state capital budget to provide safe drinking water and water-storage.

He says the money will also be used to resolve conflicts over the municipal and agricultural use of water versus the need to preserve the fish habitat.

The bills in the Senate are similar to the governor's, said Sen. Jim Honeyford says, R- Sunnyside. Honeyford said he intends to work with Locke to get the legislation passed quickly.


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