Don’t play politics with drought-relief funding

The drought promises to have a significant effect on our state’s agricultural production, and the state House needs to support funding to help farmers.


Mark Weber / Op Art (Mark Weber)

By Judy Warnick

Special to The Times

THERE are many issues that faced the Legislature this year that have been subject to partisan differences and political wrangling. Ensuring that farmers across the state have the water they need to bring their crops to market should not be one of those issues.

In March, the governor declared a drought emergency for portions of the state and recently expanded that declaration to include the entire state. The state Senate responded quickly to this urgent problem by passing legislation during the first special session aimed at providing emergency drought-relief funding.

During public testimony, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from the Senate and House were informed that some irrigation districts are currently facing severely low water supplies. Gov. Jay Inslee’s declaration brought attention to the challenges many families, farms and junior-water-rights holders will face this year as a result of lacking water.

Bringing this issue to the general public’s attention, however, is not enough. This is especially true when large cities continue to highlight their water security, failing to recognize the statewide effects and… Click here to read the rest of the guest editorial in the Seattle Times.