Monday, October 4, 2010

Tell Ecology how you’d manage water for the future

By Dan Partridge, Communication Manager, Water Resources

This is the final week of the Water Smart Washington Online Forum, an “experiment” to encourage public participation in the work of the Water Resources Program at Ecology.

Over the past five weeks, we’ve asked questions on further funding for implementation of watershed plans in Washington state; reducing the reliance of the Water Resources Program on the state general fund (taxpayer funding) vs. fees that are paid by those who benefit from water management services; forecasting water supply needs in our state; and asking the Legislature to give Ecology more authority to better regulate “permit-exempt” water wells in Washington that do not require water right permits.

The five Questions of the Week generated 9,284 views and 167 comments and the comments have been archived for review. They are helping us prepare for the scrutiny that stakeholders and legislators are giving the recommendations Ecology has made in a report to the Legislature and the governor on ways we can make the Water Resources Program more self-sustaining and less reliant on the State General Fund. In conjunction with the Online Forum but also on a separate track, we’ve been asking for your feedback on the report. This comment period ends tomorrow (Oct. 5).

It is from this report to the Legislature and governor, the “2010 Report to the Legislature and Governor: Water Resources Program Functions and Funding Structure” that we draw the sixth and final question of the Online Forum:

"Based upon the information provided in Appendix A of the 2010 Report to the Legislature and Governor, how can Ecology’s Water Resources Program be more efficient and/or cost-effective in managing the water resources of Washington state to meet the present and future water needs of people and the natural environment?”

To participate in the forum, go to Ecology’s home page and click on the Water Smart Washington logo.

Comments on Question 6, which will be taken through Tuesday, Oct. 12, will be included in a future supplement to the report.

Ecology appreciates the comments and suggestions of those who have participated in the Online Forum. For the most part, it’s been a civil discussion. Archived comments on all of the forum questions will remain available on the forum Web page after Oct. 12. If you found the forum useful or have suggestions on how we can improve Ecology’s next online forum, please contact me at

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