Washington Water Watch 
August 2015

In This Issue
Drought Update
H2KNOW Campaign Urges Water Conservation
Meet Frank James MD
Water News
CELP in the News
Keep Our Rivers Flowing!
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Upcoming Events
Wednesday, 10/7 - 6:30-8:30 Open House at Pickering Barn, IssaquahJoin staff and friends of CELP for an informative discussion of water issues, drought, climate change and Water Law in Washington State.  

Learn about successful legal actions to protect the rivers and aquifers of Washington State and the challenges ahead.  

Thursday, 10/8 - time TBD. CELP House party in Olympia. 

Friday, 12/4 - Save the Date for CELP's Annual Water Law and the Public Trust CLE event.
Water Conservation is Critical as Drought Continues in Washington

Dear friend, 

As the summer comes to a close, the drought in Washington is taking its toll. Wildfires are burning across the state, several cities in Western Washington are asking their residents to voluntarily cut back on their water use, and stream flows are dropping to record low levels.
Teanaway River, tributary of the Yakima River, currently running very low -
photo from WA Dept of Ecology

CELP along with Upper Columbia River Group of Sierra Club, and the Columbia Institute for Water Policy launched a public campaign, H2KNOW, to urge residents in the Spokane area to cut back on their water use to help the Spokane River. CELP is also encouraging water conservation in the rest of the state.
In this issue you will find an article introducing the H2KNOW campaign, an update on the drought, a profile of CELP board member Frank James MD, and more.
CELP continues to work tirelessly to protect Washington's freshwater resources and ensure wise and sustainable water management for future generations, but we can't do it alone. We rely on donations from our loyal supporters like you to be able to respond to threats like this year's drought. Please consider making a donation today on our secure website, www.celp.org.  

Hopefully the rains will return soon, but in the meantime CELP will be working to help keep water in our rivers and streams.

Best water wishes,


Trish Rolfe
Executive Director

PS. All donations to CELP are tax deductible. 

Drought Update
  • 2015 Drought leads to an unprecedented curtailment of water because flows on the Teanaway River are inadequate to satisfy the most senior water right, the Yakama Nation's treaty instream flow right. All water rights from 1884 and junior must curtail their water use effective August 13 through September 15.  Read Ecology's letter here.
  • Cities of Seattle, Tacoma, Everett and Spokane call on residents to curtail water use by 10% or more.
  • Drought has led to a record-setting fire season with hundreds of thousands of acres burned up in eastern Washington.
You can find up-to-date information on the current state of the drought in Washington on the WA Department of Ecology website here.

Here are some great resources for information on how you can do your part to conserve water during our drought:

Estimate your current water use with this Water Calculator

Updates and Water conservation tips from Seattle and King County Water Utilities

Water-Efficient Products information from the EPA

 Jora Gleason, 14, and Samarra Salcido, 11. Photo by John Osborn
H2KN0W Campaign Urges Water Conservation to Protect Spokane River

by Kelly Mistry

Since the beginning of August, CELP, the Sierra Club Upper Columbia River Group and the Columbia Institute for Water Policy have been advocating for water conservation in Spokane with the H2KN0W campaign. You can find billboards like the one below in multiple locations around Spokane:

If you are among the 500,000 of us who live in the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene region, then your source of water at home and at work is our shared aquifer. The aquifer not only supplies our homes and businesses, but also is the lifeblood for the Spokane River, especially during the hot summer months. Nearly every bucket of water that we use is a bucket that doesn't flow into the Spokane River, and right now the river is running extremely low.

Conserving water will help save our Spokane River and save you money! You can help our Spokane River - and the wildlife that depend on it - by taking action. Here are a few suggestions that everyone can do to help conserve water:
  • Let your lawn go dormant in the heat by not watering it. If you do water your lawn, do it early in the morning during the hotter summer months.
  • Use drip-irrigation systems for bedded plants, trees and shrubs, or turn the flat, green soaking hoses upside down so the holes are on the bottom. This will help prevent evaporation.
  • Check all water line connections and faucets in your house for leaks. A slow drip can waste as much as 170 gallons of water each day, or 5,000 gallons per month and will add to the water bill.
  • Take a shower versus a bath. Showers with high-efficiency showerheads often use less water than taking a bath.
  • Never run the dishwasher without a full load. This practice will save water, energy, detergent and money.
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly or start a compost pile.
  • Wash only a full load when using an automatic washing machine (32-59 gallons are required per load).
For more water saving tips and resources, visit H2KNOW.info now!

On August 13th, H2KNOW joined with the City of Spokane's Slow the Flow Program to strongly encourage people to conserve water during our drought, record-high heat, and a drastically reduced river flow. To learn more about this collaboration, click here. 
Meet Frank James, MD - CELP Board Member 

by Kelly Mistry
Frank is the Health Officer for San Juan County and Health Officer for the Nooksack Indian Nation, and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Frank also serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Village Studies and Responsible Development and on the organizing committee for Whatcom Docs, a group of physicians bringing scientific evaluation to the health impacts of the proposed coal port and coal trains in Bellingham. Frank is the former Executive Director of Honor Works, and a co-founder of the CEDAR Project on the Lummi Nation, a community organization that builds leadership in young people.

Frank has been on the Board of Directors for CELP since 2014. We asked Frank some questions about how he became passionate about protecting Washington's waters, and how he became involved with CELP. Here are a few of his answers:

What's your personal philosophy on what should be done about water conservation?

Knowing that my personal effort to conserve is wonderful and it feels good but real impacts at the societal level require larger actions to change policy.

What do you find most challenging about protecting water in Washington?

Water quality is something most people can relate to but water quantity is something that most people have thought we would never have a problem with in Washington State. Getting people to take the issue seriously has been a real challenge.

What do you wish other people knew about CELP or water conservation generally?

The historic role of CELP in many of the landmark water decisions is well known in some circles but the general public is unaware of the role CELP has played in critical water litigation over several decades.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming involved with CELP?

It is very exciting to be part of an organization that is taking on one of the most important areas for the future of our community. CELP has a strong reputation for being effective and in taking on the most important issues facing our region in the area of water policy.

Water News
Concerned about Washington's Water Quality? Take action today!

Ecology has just released its draft General Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, and a proposed rule for Reclaimed water. Learn about these agency actions and comment on them by going to Ecology's website. Links are below. 
  1. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation General Permit, Public comments accepted: August 11 - September 18, 2015 
  2. Ecology has released a new Reclaimed Water Rule, Public Comment Period June 22 - September 21, 2015
Soundkeeper Victory will Help Curb Spokane PCBs

Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, represented by Richard Smith of Smith & Lowney, won a ruling that Ecology may not include mixing zones in permits that authorize discharge of PCBs. This is because PCBs cannot be diluted and instead bioaccumulate in sediments and animal tissues. The PSA ruling will be instrumental in obtaining credible permits for Spokane River sewage and industrial facilities, subject of two CELP lawsuits.

CELP Objects to Ecology Rural Water Supply Study

On August 27, CELP sent a letter to Maia Bellon, director of the Department of Ecology, raising objections over Ecology's proposal to study out-of-kind mitigation and other non-starter methods to offset future water use. CELP is calling for a more balanced study, and peer review. 

CELP in the News
H2KNOW in the News

Thanks for taking the time to read Washington Water Watch!  Thanks to your help, CELP has accomplished much but, as you can see, more needs to be done. You can support our work by making a donation online here, or mailing a check to 911 Western Ave #305, Seattle, WA 98104 

CELP's mission is to protect and restore Washington's rivers and aquifers through science-based management of and advocacy for our waters.  CELP works through public education, grassroots assistance, agency advocacy, legislative reform, and public interest litigation.


If you care about a future with water, please become a CELP member today!

You can reach us at: 206-829-8299 or email us.