EPA director to discuss water issues in Walla Walla

The session will give local stakeholders an opportunity to talk about the vision and goals for local water management.

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WALLA WALLA - The Washington state Department of Ecology director will visit here Monday to discuss local water management programs.

Walla Walla Basin Watershed Management Partnership members and other local officials will meet with Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant at 11 a.m. The meeting will be at the William A. Grant Water & Ecology Center at Walla Walla Community College, 500 Tausick Way.

Partnership Executive Director Cathy Schaeffer said the event will be an opportunity for local stakeholders to talk with Sturdevant about how the vision and goals for local water management can be achieved through programs such as water banking and flexible local water plans.

Authorized by the state Legislature in 2009, the water management partnership is now in the second year of a pilot program to create innovative programs and voluntary tools to manage water resources for the mutual benefit of fish, farmers and other users.

The partnership is governed by a nine-member board representing water rights holders, citizens, environmental interests, local governments and tribes.

A quorum of the board may be present at Monday's meeting, but discussion will cover only items of mutual interest with Ecology and no decisions will be made, Schaeffer said.

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