Water Rights Workshop
January 27, Carnation Senior Center, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
4610 Stephens Ave, Downtown Carnation
If you would like to know more about water rights law and assessing your existing water rights, or are interested in obtaining new irrigation water rights, then join us for this free information session. This session is part of a larger effort to create a basin-wide approach to protecting our existing rights and obtaining new rights. The Snoqualmie Valley Preservation Alliance is seeking to assist landowners in forming a locally-controlled “watershed improvement district,” empowered to address water rights, water supply and agricultural drainage. In March, we will hold a similar meeting to discuss how the proposed district would address drainage.This session will be lead by water rights attorney Bill Clarke, whose service has been made possible by a grant from Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, to increase access to irrigation in the Snoqualmie Valley. Mr. Clarke will provide a water rights self-assessment tool and be on hand after the meeting to answer your specific questions about water rights.
Topics include: Basics of water right law, options for water right holders and water right seekers, self-assessment tools, proposed Watershed Improvement District.
Staff and attorney Bill Clarke will be on hand following the meeting to meet with farmers and landowners one-on-one.
Please email Cynthia Krass at email@example.com if you have any questions, or just to let us know you'll be there.
What We Do
Flood Impact Evaluation, Monitoring, and Mitigation
Protecting viability of farmers, residents and businesses is central to our mission, and nothing affects their viability more than the river itself. Flooding is a part of life in the Snoqualmie Valley, but flooding made worse and less predictable by human intervention must be addressed if farms, businesses and residents are to thrive. Development activity upstream and downstream can result in flood devastation from any combination of higher peak flows, slower drainage, less reliable flood warning and monitoring tools, and late season flooding, which can destroy spring plantings.
The SVPA works with community members, landowners, King County, Department of Ecology, Flood Management District, King Conservation District, and nonprofits to ensure that the policies and standards for flood management, habitat restoration projects and recreation uses are compatible with long term viability of the lower Valley.
King County has agreed to conduct a long overdue hydrologic and hydraulic study for the Snoqualmie River Basin, especially as it relates to recent work on the Snoqualmie Falls. The study is due out in April 2015. Our long term goal is to investigate and champion solutions for flood storage, especially in light of the concerns over the possibility of reduced snow pack in the region during the next ten to fifty years.
Ongoing Monitoring and Collaboration
We work with Valley stakeholders, county and state officials, the general public and other nonprofit organizations to proactively further the mission of protecting the Snoqualmie Valley as a productive and stunning rural landscape. Over the past four years, the SVPA has developed a strong network of allies across all sectors: farmers, property owners, environmentalists, visitors, recreationists, and government agencies. We aim to leverage this into a force for meeting the needs of the Valley.
We aim to have a continued, organized presence so that we can understand, anticipate, and advocate on behalf of the Valley and the community. Our board, staff, committee members, and supporters participate in formal and informal collaboration activities, including King County’s Fish Farm Flood Advisory Committee, and hosting and attending community meetings of all kinds.
Watershed Improvement District
Farmers, residents and businesses have long recognized that there is always too much or too little water. The purpose of the watershed improvement district is to address water needs on a system-wide basis, protect water rights, increase access to irrigation, and address drainage issues. It would address irrigation needs by enabling a more efficient method to implement movement of water rights from those who have them to those who need them. This is especially important to the growing number of small farmers who are less likely to have adequate water rights. The district would address drainage by managing regulation and infrastructure on a system-wide level, rather than parcel by parcel, and give the Valley more weight to negotiate with Washington State Department of Ecology on its own behalf.
2014 TASTE OF THE VALLEY
Thanks to our generous community for making the 2014 Taste fundraiser the best ever. Please support all of the great restaurants and sponsors who supported this event.
Saturday July 26th @ Jubilee Farm
Check it out!
SVPA Helps Stop Tall Chief Development
The Tall Chief project sought to develop eighteen homes on the site of the old Tall Chief golf course. With the assistance from hydrological engineering consultant Dr. Ed McCarthy, and attorney Charlie Klinge, the Snoqualmie Valley Preservation Alliance appealed the project based on the concern that it would make flooding worse and harm the Valley’s rural character. The Alliance was the lone dissenting voice during the public comment session two years ago. Had the Alliance not intervened at that time, the suburban residential project would have been approved.
Fortunately, the appeal process bought much-needed time, enabling King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert and County Executive Dow Constantine, who share the Alliance’s goal of preserving our precious remaining farmland, to get involvevd. Ultimately, the County purchased the property, and transferred the development rights from Tall Chief to Seattle’s South Lake Union area. This exciting announcement was made on KING 5 News this week.
Since forming in 2010, the Snoqualmie Valley Preservation Alliance has matured from a group of concerned, hand-wringing neighbors with the audacity to sue the United States of America over their work on the Snoqualmie Falls, to an established force for forging productive relationships between community members, landowners, and county and state officials. We have advocated for effective solutions to shared challenges, and made headway on some key issues central to protecting the Valley. We were instrumental in returning the Tall Chief property to farmland. We secured an agreement with the County for a long-overdue flood impact study, and identified potential new solutions to drainage problems.
Perhaps even more importantly, in fighting the good fight, we have found our voice. The stakeholders and friends of the Snoqualmie Valley have found that together, we can make our voice heard in a way that will not only serve to protect what we have, but will ultimately make this Valley even more of a regional treasure for all of us to enjoy, prosper and celebrate.
Events & Announcements
- 3/17/2012 - March 2012 Letter to Supporters
- 2/28/2012 - SVPA Litigation Update
- 6/5/2011 - The Hoedown in the Valley Mystery Auction was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who showed up to support our mission.
- 3/30/2011 - Judge refuses to stop the PSE Snoqualmie Falls project - SVPA statement - decision document.
- 1/17/2011 - SVPA covered by KING5 during the January 2011 flooding.
- 11/10/2010 - Press release: Citizen Group Reveals Corps of Engineers Ignored Flood Impact more...
How Can You Help?