Washington Water Watch 
August 2020

In This Issue
Spokane River
Chehalis River Dam Proposal
Celebrate Water Guest Speaker
AWRA State Conference
Keep Our Rivers Flowing!
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Upcoming Events
Honoring Professor Bob Anderson and celebrating CELP's 25th anniversary. Guest Speaker- Dr. Gary Morishima
Sept. 17th 

Virtually on Oct. 6th
Registration now open
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Letter from the Executive Director

Diablo Lake

Dear friends of CELP,
As the summer winds down in this crazy year, I hope you all got a chance to get out and recreate on Washington's amazing rivers and streams, a great way to recharge from the stress we are all experiencing. These waters are the life blood of Washington that should be protected and celebrated by all. But sadly, there are many who only see our waterways as a resource to be exploited harming fish and the public who rely on them. The impacts from Climate Change are only making a dire situation even worse.
That's why CELP continues our important work to protect, preserve, and restore Washington's waters now and for future generations. But we can't do it alone. We rely heavily on support from individuals like you, so if you are able please support CELP's important work by donating on our website: www.celp.org.
In spite of our work, sometimes our efforts fail, and that happened with our challenge to the flawed summer flow in the Spokane River Instream Flow Rule. The State Supreme Court ruled against us, and now the people and businesses in Spokane are the real losers. The Department of Ecology can now issue water rights that will drop the flow in the river to drought levels during the summer, making recreation on the river almost impossible.
In this issue you will find more information on this State Supreme Court ruling, Governor Inslee's letters pausing the proposed Chehalis River dam, a bio of Celebrate Water's guest speaker, the American Water Resource Association's state conference event, and more.
I also want to send out a big thank you to all of our Celebrate Waters Sponsors. They play a huge role in helping us do our important work!
Trish Rolfe
Executive Director

PS. Please tune into Celebrate Waters Virtual event on September 17th and stay safe!

Spokane River Update

On August 6th, the State Supreme Court ruled against protecting flows in the Spokane River, rejecting arguments of river advocates and upholding the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology)'s drought-level flow rate decision. The decision subverts the will of the state legislature, grants near-total control over river flows in Washington to Ecology, and establishes a superficial role for public input that the agency is free to ignore. Nothing in the court's decision, however, prevents Ecology from restoring Spokane River flow rates to levels that will sustain and restore fish, support the recreation economy, and revive the river character of Spokane.

Read more here.

Gov. Inslee puts Dam Proposal on Pause
Site of the proposed dam on the Chehalis River. Photo by Shane Anderson

In a letter to the Departments of Ecology and Fish and Wildlife and a letter to the Chehalis Basin Board, Governor Inslee requested the Chehalis Basin Board provide recommendations and further evaluation of no-dam options and directed Ecology to pause the Environmental Impact Statement process through the end of year and use available funding to assist the Chehalis Basin Board.

What is next for the Chehalis Basin Strategy? Now the Departments of Ecology and Fish and Wildlife and the Chehalis Basin Board are taking the next steps towards a long-term Chehalis Basin Strategy for the governor and legislature's consideration in the first quarter of 2021. Read more here

You can also find information on Chehalis Basin Board meetings and notes here.

Dr. Gary Morishima will be speaking about Chehalis River Basin Strategy and its twin goals of reducing damage from flooding and restoring aquatic species during our Celebrate Water event. See more below.

Guest Speaker Announcement
Dr. Gary Morishima on the Chehalis River Basin Strategy

On September 17th we will host our annual Celebrate Water live on our Facebook at 5:30 pm. We are commemorating our 25th anniversary as a nonprofit and honoring Professor Bob Anderson with the Ralph W. Johnson Water Hero Award.

Since we are hosting Celebrate Water virtually this year, it is a free event that everyone can attend on our Facebook page. Don't have a Facebook? Don't worry, you can still follow the link to view the event, you just won't be able to make comments to interact without an account.

This year, Celebrate Water will also include a guest speaker. We are excited to introduce Dr. Gary Morishima who will discuss the Chehalis River Basin Strategy and its twin goals of reducing damage from flooding and restoring aquatic species.

Gary has been the Natural Resources Technical Advisor to the President at Quinault Indian Nation since 1974. He holds a PhD in Quantitative Science and Environmental Management from the University of Washington and is an Affiliate Professor with the University of Washington's School of the Environment and Forest Sciences. We are thankful for his time to discuss the Chehalis Basin Strategy with us.

You can protect our rivers and waters by supporting CELP's work. A generous supporter has agreed to match up to $5,000 in donations for Celebrate Water. Gifts made now through September will count. Donate here and leave a comment that your donation is for Celebrate Water to ensure it is matched.

More event details here.

Celebrate Water Sponsors
We are thankful to have the support of these incredible organizations, businesses, Tribes, Nations, and individuals. 

AWRA Washington State Conference

When: OCTOBER 6th, 2020
Location:To protect the safety of everyone, this year's conference will be held virtually! 
Conference Theme: This year's theme, "The Challenges of Change: How Washington is Responding to Interdisciplinary Changes to Water Resources", will highlight recent and ongoing changes to water supply and water quality, and the market, technological, regulatory, and legislative responses to those changes. This year's conference will present interdisciplinary perspectives on and approaches to changes in water resources, including municipal, agricultural, environmental, and energy-related perspectives.  

Tony Willardson from the Western States Water Council will present the keynote address, sharing his insights on the role of resiliency in managing water resources.  Session 1 will provide an overview of how Washington water quality, regional water use and demand, and hydrology have changed over time, and the changes that are expected to occur in the future.  Session 2 will focus on how markets are responding to changes in water resources, supply, and quality, and will identify market solutions that can be used to adapt to those changes.  This session will feature speakers from municipal, agricultural, hydropower, and environmental perspectives on market solutions.  Session 3 will discuss technological responses and solutions that can be implemented to adapt to changes in water resources, supply, and quality.  This session will feature speakers who will discuss technology being implemented in the municipal, agricultural, and fish conservation contexts.  Session 4 will provide a panel discussion on the role of policy, regulations, and legislation in preparing for, adapting, and prompting change in water supply, water quality, and water use.

More information and registration here.

Thanks for taking the time to read Washington Water Watch!  Thanks to your help, CELP has accomplished much but, as you can see, more needs to be done. You can support our work by making a donation online here, or mailing a check to: 

85 S Washington St #301, Seattle, WA 98104 

The Center for Environmental Law & Policy is a statewide organization whose mission is to protect, preserve and restore Washington's waters through education, policy reform, agency advocacy, and public interest litigation.

If you care about a future with water, please become a CELP member today!
You can reach us at (206) 829-8299 or email us.