The Washington Department of Ecology has announced a new grant program to support the purchase of existing water rights to create local water banks for headwater communities. The pilot grants are intended to furnish rural communities in headwater basins throughout the state with funds to compete with “deep-pocketed water investors.”
Washington created this program because as demand for water has increased, supplies have become scarcer. The strong increase in market interest has led to water right purchases and transfers that cause concern for communities in headwater basins, because it’s easier to transfer the rights downstream than up. A third of each water right purchased must be dedicated in-stream use, which will help protect aquatic resources.
If your state wants to follow this pilot program that aims to preserve water supply for local use, see more information here.