Southwest Washington residents may more often be concerned about having too much water than not enough, but Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen recently sponsored a successful bill to “modernize Washington’s drought status,” according to the Washington House Democrats.
“Right now, each time we’re hit by a drought, our response is reactive and that’s not good enough, especially since we know there’ll be more droughts,” said Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, chairman of the Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, and prime sponsor of House Bill 1622. “So why not get ahead of the game with a proactive approach before we’re facing a drought emergency?”
The bill passed the state House of Representatives Wednesday evening on a 79-17 vote. The bill is intended to streamline the Department of Ecology’s response to drought, help farmers and help the state respond more effectively to drought emergencies. It also provides for a “drought advisory warning.”
Blake introduced House Bill 1622 at the request of Ecology. Blake represents the 19th Legislative District, which includes the western portion of Lewis County.
“Building a back-up water supply for a small community, farmer, or fish hatchery before there’s a drought emergency would increase the reliability of their water supply, which would help them endure the impact of droughts,” said Blake, in a statement.