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Bill to protect water rights passes

A change in the rules concerning water rights relinquishment passed the Senate unanimously on Feb. 28. It had been approved in the House earlier on an 89-2 vote.

House Bill 1381, introduced by Rep. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, protects a nonused water right while the water user waits for a final determination from the Department of Ecology on a change application.

Existing examples of voluntary nonuse include drought or unavailability of water, military service and legal proceedings.

The bill now goes to the governor for her consideration.

-- Steve Brown

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