Conserved Water in Washington State:

A Legislative Proposal


Leslie Ann Cushman




The water supply in Washington state is utilized near to or at its limits. The instream needs of streams and other bodies of water are not adequately provided for under present water allocation conditions. Water for instream use can be gained through conservation of existing supply. Conservation practices and measures already exist; they do not have to be discovered. People and institutions are not turning to conservation willingly. The basic tenets of water law, beneficial use and prohibitions against waste, need to be fully enforced. Enforcement of clear standards of use can be done without interfering with the rights in property. The water gained instream through this enforcement will alleviate stress on existing supplies and will act to protect in a congenial manner the instream flow values that are so important to the economic and social health of the state of Washington.