40 Years and 2,500 Claimants Later: A Big Milestone for Washington State Water

This spring, after 42 years, the Aquavella adjudication is finally closing and claimants are receiving adjudicated certificates.  The importance of the adjudication can’t be overstated. 

  1. It provided certainty in priority dates for water users.

  2. It created the conditions necessary for water banking to thrive in the greater Yakima basin.

  3. It reset the relinquishment clock for water right holders.

  4. It sowed the seeds of the Yakima Integrated Plan, arguably the most ambitious multi-purpose watershed recovery effort in Washington State and a national model. 

Since 2001, Aspect has assisted in proving up beneficial use for adjudication claimants, conducted water studies supporting both permanent and drought transfers, assisted in hundreds of water right transactions, bought and sold water from water banks on behalf of our clients, and are running a water bank in the Yakima basin. 

All of this work was made possible by the hard work of agencies, attorneys, irrigation districts, farmers, cities, counties, and non-profit entities participating in the Acquavella adjudication.  The following video and article provide more context on the history and effort in pulling off this herculean effort.  Now all that is left for Ecology to decide is where in Washington State to go next!