Tag Archives: Water Column

Water Column: Resetting the rules

by Ann Soule | Wednesday, July 8, 2020 — Sequim Gazzette

If you’re into games of intricate strategy and tales of suspense and mystery, you’d probably enjoy water law. You just have to be extraordinarily patient for the solution.

I attended an online workshop about the future of water banking and water trusts in our state last week, and witnessed many clever minds honing sophisticated arguments pro and con for each proposed policy, dissecting the strengths and weaknesses of this angle or that tack.

Water law evolves via serial legal challenges these days, so it makes sense that a state agency would get multiple bright legal minds to weigh in before its policies get quashed in court battles. It appeared to be a very productive workshop.

Water law came about in our state originally a century ago to settle conflicts of demand for a resource whose supply varies by season and year. It was written in Olympia by politicians without nearly enough data or input from stakeholders – but try inserting new information now and you’ve got an instant court case.

Water is a political hot potato, so most rules are made in court.

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