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Ecology signs off on new Wenatchee water regulations.

State Department of Ecology Director Jay Manning has signed a new rule that will protect stream flows and make more water available in the Wenatchee River watershed over the next 20 years.

The rule changes how water will be managed in the future, making additional water available for municipal, residential and stock uses, while improving protection of stream flows and existing water rights.

The rule changes were drafted as part of the Wenatchee Watershed Planning process under the state's Watershed Planning Act. Chelan County commissioners adopted the plan in 2006.

"This rule is a testament to cooperation in the Wenatchee River basin where community stakeholders, tribes, cities and Chelan County took ownership of their future and developed a plan for managing and protecting their important water resources," Manning said.

In 1983, regulations were established governing how water would be managed on the Wenatchee River, Mission Creek and Icicle Creek. The rule was adopted to protect stream flows, fisheries and existing water rights. It also closed new allocations of water on Peshastin Creek between June 15 and Oct. 15.

Amendments to that rule revise existing stream flow levels, set aside a reservation of 4 cubic feet per second for future use, and establish a maximum amount of water that may be allocated from the Wenatchee River and its tributaries. The rule changes will not affect people who have existing water rights.

Information is on Ecology's Web site at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/instream-flows/wenatchee.html

The final Wenatchee Watershed Management Plan is available at: www.co.chelan.wa.us/nr/nr_watershed_plan.htm.
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Title Annotation:THE BUZZ: TIPS, RUMORS AND MISCELLANEOUS PIECES OF BUSINESS INFORMATION
Publication:Wenatchee Business Journal
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U9WA
Date:Jan 1, 2008
Words:265
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