Washington Department of Ecology announces grants worth $350,000 to aid drought response
The funds are part of the department’s continued efforts to aid areas of the state impacted by the worst drought to ever hit Washington.
The newest grants, for Skagit County and Yakima County, bring Ecology’s total funding to just over $1 million spread over 14 projects. The 2015 Legislature has approved $16 million for the next two years to help communities dealing with the impacts of the drought.
Communities receiving the grants must at least match the funds provided by Ecology to complete their projects, and must achieve their stated goals by the end of the year.
Skagit County received $57,750 to help residents whose wells are failing. The county’s Public Utility District No. 1 will use the funding to install automated bulk water filling stations at Conway and Bow Hill as an alternative to the use of local fire hydrants. Customers who were trucking water to their homes increase fire hydrant use by four times, possibly posing a contamination risk for the district’s water system.
Yakima County won a grant worth $291,700 to construct an emergency drought well for Jones Local Improvement District No. 2, which will irrigate 150 acres of orchards and protect the trees from root damage caused by deep freezes in the winter.