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