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The Washington Department of Ecology helps inform people about their water rights

water rights meeting

Yakima Wash. -- The Washington Department of Ecology is helping inform farmers and District Managers about their water basin rights.

The 40 year long Acquavella water rights case allows surface water from the Yakima River based on seniority of farmers who pioneered the area.

Ecology Regional Communications Manager Joy Redfield – Wilder says this has caused a lot of fights amongst people not receiving enough water over the years but now the water rights case is close to being finalized.

“This means that people will have their water rights in their different water sheds and individual water rights that say how much water rights they can use either on their property or for their farms or for their irrigation districts and even for the city of Yakima," said Redfield-Wilder.

Daniel Macke is the Water Manager of the Buena Irrigation District and he says before coming to this meeting he didn’t know that their district was among the 30 for water rights.

“We weren’t notified and we’re a very small District and it happens to small Districts that people, paperwork and stuff gets lost," said Macke.

He says he’s happy he came to this meeting because he doesn’t want Buena to go under the radar and he wants them to get all the water they need.

“They found more paperwork where we think now we are close to what we should be getting," said Macke.

With nearly 2,500 water rights confirmed for individuals and 30 for major irrigation districts, cities, projects and Yakama Nation rights, the case is coming to a close with talks of compromising to receive water rights to several areas.

Anyone may file written objections with the court until November 15, 2017.

A schedule for court review and responses to objections will follow as needed until April 14, 2018.

For more information on the draft schedule of rights you can head over to the Ecology's website.

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