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Climate change and growth will strain water supplies in Wash. -- study

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A combination of population growth and climate change will threaten Washington's water supply over the next 20 years, according to a report released by the state's Department of Ecology.

Water needed for irrigation and public use will be strained, as well as stream flows that support fish in the Columbia River and its tributaries, the study says.

Washington's irrigation demand is predicted to increase by almost 2 percent by 2030, totaling 170,000 acre-feet of water. An increase of 24 percent, or 117,500 acre-feet of water, is expected for municipal and domestic needs over the same period.

About $95 million has been set aside for projects to improve the state's water supplies, said Joye Redfield-Wilder, an Ecology Department spokeswoman in Yakima.

"As we seek projects to meet water needs, we want to make sure these projects match actual demand," she said. "The point is to develop water supplies that can support fisheries, the needs of agriculture and the water rights applicants who have been waiting for a decision" (David Lester, Yakima [Wash.] Herald-Republic, June 15). -- LJ


Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net. 202-628-6500

 

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Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net. 202-628-6500.


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