Battle lines drawn in Washington over new wells

From the Capital Press

The Washington Supreme Court’s ruling in Whatcom County vs. Hirst could shut down rural homebuilding statewide, a lobbyist for farm groups and other water users said Thursday at a House hearing.

“The more I listen to people discuss the Hirst case, the more convinced I am that there will be no growth in the rural area unless we solve the problem,” said Kathleen Collins of the Washington Water Policy Alliance, whose members include irrigators, businesses and cities.

The House Agriculture and Local Government committees held a joint hearing to learn more about the October decision, in which the court ruled that new domestic wells can’t impair existing water rights, including river flows. Read the rest of the story here.