Stop the Phony Water Crisis – CAPR Legislative Call to Action
On January 8, the first day of the 2018 legislative session, CAPR’s lobbyist and members will be at the rotunda of the legislative capitol dome building at 9:30 am to support you and give you lapel stickers and flyers to give to your legislators. We will then at 10:30 am begin to visit offices of legislators and suggest you do the same. Join us! Your like-minded legislators need your support in their efforts to restore and protect traditional water law and exempt wells.
CAPR will not stand down on Hirst without a legislative explanation of how a bill that directly conflicts with traditional long-standing water law and the state constitution could be passed. Here is a link to our legislative flyer for use on Monday http://proprights.org/blog/stop-phony-water-crisis-legislative-flyer
ALERT UPDATE! The senate has set a hearing for a bill, in almost identical form to the December 12 proposed bill hearing, for Monday, January 8, at 1:30 in Senate Hearing room 3. If you have already planned on joining CAPR on Monday, you may wish to attend the hearing and/or testify, all citizens may testify at hearings, electronic sign in prior to the hearing is available in the Cherberg bldg. If you missed the December hearing, you can help by attending this hearing!
This is a link to the text of the Senate bill hearing: http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/AWNP/Documents/2018%20PSSBs%20Amds%20Draft%20Bills/1.8.18%20AWNP%20Draft%20Bill%20S-3394.1.pdf
On December 12, the house held a hearing on a proposed bill to fix Hirst that was proffered by House Democrats, Governor Inslee, and Ecology. You can read that bill and access the TVW hearing on that bill here. CAPR believes this bill is crafted to complicate water law, grossly expand the Growth Management Act, Ecology Jurisdiction and Policy, and to invite further litigation.
Maia Bellon, Director of Ecology said in the hearing that rural people would be allowed a modicum of water, www.tvw.org/watch/?clientID=9375922947&eventID=2017121027&eventID=2017121027&startStreamAt=2760&stopStreamAt=2775&autoStartStream=true as has been written of by Sue Lani Madsen of the Spokesman Review which you can read here
Maia Bellon, the mistress of modicum says she hopes to provide a modicum of water to rural people, but CAPR notes and cautions there is nothing in this bill that would prohibit Ecology from also offering that same modicum of water to all domestic water users in the state, rural and urban alike. It is not outside the realm of possibility that through litigation this bill will lead to urban water supplies being limited to 350 gallons indoor only use per day, as is attempted through this bill for rural water users, and most current water banking plans. There is no reason to think this absolute power which disregards the rule of law will stop with simply manipulating the rural landscape and populace, as has been seen in the past, when these power brokers are satisfied with the damage done in the rural world, they will advance to causing damage in the urban world. Allowing now for the inequitable application of water policy which disregards standing water law, will set the precedence for disregarding water law on a statewide basis for all water resource areas, and users, as this bill encourages with its review of all policies set prior to the year 2000. Rural and urban water sources are within these inventory areas.
For this proposed bill, the legislature must square these Washington State Constitution Sections, and must not allow for the Executive Branch, through its agency, Ecology, to disregard constitutional mandates…
How can each water resource inventory area or basin have differing water policy interpreting water law and yet not create a special class of citizens and/or classes of citizens who would face what would amount to fees, taxes, and possible fines that others would not? Inequity in the application of law is prohibited.
How could counties create water banks that would involve no profit accumulating in that bank? How would that be monitored or enforced?
How can the enumerated public uses of water be disregarded in policies and plans of Ecology?
Section 12 SPECIAL PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES PROHIBITED.
No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens, or corporations.
SECTION 14 PRIVATE USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS PROHIBITED.
The making of profit out of county, city, town, or other public money, or using the same for any purpose not authorized by law, by any officer having the possession or control thereof, shall be a felony, and shall be prosecuted and punished as prescribed by law.
WATER AND WATER RIGHTS
Article XXI Section 1 SECTION 1 PUBLIC USE OF WATER.
The use of the waters of this state for irrigation, mining and manufacturing purposes shall be deemed a public use.