After decades of litigation with the Department of Ecology regarding whether its canals were wasting water, MVID entered into a comprehensive settlement agreement to drastically improve irrigation efficiency. This created an opportunity for regional collaboration with Ecology (who desired additional water for fish), with the Town of Twisp (who needed additional municipal water supply), and with MVID farmers (who received inadequate reliable supply particularly at the end of the canal system). Aspect, in conjunction with teaming partners like Trout Unlimited, worked on developing a regional partnership for people (Twisp), farms (MVID), and fish (Ecology).
Aspect played several important roles in helping to coordinate and permit this $10+ million dollar project, including:
- Facilitation of public meetings to help gain consensus on the permitting approach and how water savings would be allocated.
- Primary author of trust water transfers to establish the Water Bank, and new permits to MVID and Twisp based on water supply savings.
- Assistance in negotiation of a purchase and sale agreement between MVID and Twisp, and a trust water agreement between MVID and Ecology.
- Developing the SEPA compliance documents for the project.
- Developing the first coordinated certification program in Washington State to allow dozens of new MVID users served by groundwater wells to receive certificated water rights for the project.
Additional maps and detail on this innovative project is available on the District’s website at http://www.mvid.org/ and an informational video below.