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Sen. Cantwell’s bill aims to address water issues in Yakima

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell has introduced legislation aimed at ensuring a reliable supply of water for farmers, municipalities, fish, tribes and others in the Yakima River Basin.

The Democratic senator from Washington was in Yakima Thursday to announce a bill that moves ahead with a long-term water management plan for that region.

The bill would authorize projects and money for the first phase of a plan developed to meet competing water needs in one of the state’s most productive agricultural regions. A number of groups and agencies collaborated on a plan that calls for additional groundwater storage, fish passage facilities, water conservation and improving fish and other habitat.

Cantwell says without the bill and the plan, the area will continue to face water shortages and water fights because there’s not enough water to meet current and future needs.

Gov. Jay Inslee and others praised the move, saying it plan address drought and climate change.

U.S. Senator Patty Murray is a bill co-sponsor.

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