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State program designed to buy private water rights

OLYMPIA – The state Department of Ecology is offering money for local governments to buy private water rights to make “water banks.”

The program allows counties, cities, towns, water districts, etc. to use Ecology funds to buy private water rights and place them in a government-controlled “bank” using the agency’s trust water right program.

“The goal is to preserve water supplies for local use,” Ecology spokesman Jimmy Norris said.

Not all water bought for the bank would be available for local use.

“To help protect aquatic resources, one-third of each water right bought with this funding must...


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