The following is a release from the office of Rep. Derek Stanford:
The House of Representatives voted 57-41 to pass Rep. Derek Stanford’s (D – Bothell) bill to strengthen the state’s drought preparedness plans. Stanford represents Bothell from the 1st District.
Currently in Washington, the Department of Ecology is at the ready to establish a Joint Legislative Committee on Water Supply During Drought in the event of a water shortage. The point of the committee, which is comprised of four state senators and four representatives, is to allow the state to prepare for a drought.
The problem is that the committee is not allowed to meet until a drought has been officially declared. But Stanford’s House Bill 1836 would allow the joint committee to meet when a drought is forecasted and develop contingency plans.
“Unfortunately we have to wait for a drought until we can take these steps,” Stanford said. “So the policy of this bill is simple — to actually prepare, ahead of a drought. This bill will allow us to plan rather than react.”
HB 1836 would also allow the committee to make loans and grants from emergency agricultural water supply funds so communities could prepare for an oncoming drought. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.