Over the last three years, the 212-square-mile Icicle Creek watershed in Chelan County has been the focus of significant evaluation to address chronic water supply issues.
Recently, the Icicle Creek Work Group (IWG)--composed of a diverse set of local, state and federal agencies, tribes, irrigation and agricultural interests and environmental organizations--reached a key project milestone with the launching of State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) scoping for a diverse range of projects to help fish, farms, and flows. The purpose of SEPA is twofold: it encourages public involvement in selecting project alternatives and it ensures environmental values are considered by state and local agencies before committing to action.
The proposed projects run the gamut from retrofitting existing reservoirs in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to benefit instream flow to designing new infrastructure at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery to improve fish populations. In addition, proposed conservation efforts—to improve irrigation and domestic use efficiencies--look to promote both instream and out of stream benefits.
The timeline for the SEPA process will run over the next 90 days, followed by the kick-off of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) evaluation, which will take place over the next two years.
Learn more about the proposed projects here.