"The Court’s decision is a disaster for a host of property owners, many of whom have been saving for years to be able to build a modest home away from the traffic and stress of the city."
— Dave Main, president,
Creative Home Partners, LLC
Our State has Diverse Water and Land Uses. Hirst Needs Flexible Solutions.
Counties, cities, builders, and Washington residents need the certainty to rely on the state’s water resource manager, the Department of Ecology.
The state, counties, cities, builders, and Washington residents need flexibility for water mitigation: mitigation options that make real improvements.
Hirst solutions need to ensure:
- To fix Hirst, the Legislature also needs to fix the Foster decision and allow flexible mitigation options.
- In areas that are not closed to household wells, Washington residents should be able to use their property.
- In areas that have been limited or closed to household wells, programs that put back water to balance water use (mitigation) should be available on a basin-wide basis. This would allow broad solutions across a rural community, not just house-by-house.
- Washington needs flexibility for water mitigation. The state should allow mitigation that improves water and for instream values such as fish.
- If water banks are part of the solution, the Legislature needs to allow the transfer of agriculture rights to year-round domestic uses.
- Flexibility in mitigation can allow agriculture rights to be utilized year round and transferred, while improving instream values.
- Water banks aren’t the only answer. There are many areas in Washington that don’t have enough of the right kind of water available to create water banks.
- Current water mitigation programs should still be available.