Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Roger Harnack
Gazette publisher 

Water rights should be kept private

 

December 2, 2021



Under the guise of water conservation, the state Department of Ecology is once again moving to take water rights from farmers, ranchers and other private holders.

Last month, the agency announced plans to fund creation of local “water banks,” in addition to the state “water bank” already in existence.

The agency says the program helps municipalities buy water rights from private owners. It has set $14 million aside for the program.

The goal, agency spokesman Jimmy Norris said, is to “preserve water supplies for local use.”

But nothing could be further from the truth.

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