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Skagit farmers seek extra water amid drought

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Skagit Valley Tulips. Martha in Bothell

ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) — The city of Anacortes is making water available to seed farmers in the Skagit Valley who ran low on water because of this year’s drought.

The Department of Ecology says it recently processed an emergency water order allowing the city to provide water to two irrigation districts, which hold lesser claims to water. Irrigators are now able to buy nearly five million gallons a day from the city to water about 5,000 acres of farmland.

The agricultural region provides a large share of the U.S. farm seed supply, including table beets, spinach and cabbage.

In June, the Skagit County Public Utility District also helped irrigators with temporary water supply when the districts ran dry.

The farmers typically collect rainwater from drainage ditches into June or July before pumping water from the river. But the Skagit River, like many rivers in the state, has been running at low levels.

 

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