April to August 2023 Edition

AWRA-WA & AWRA-CWU Joint Dinner Meeting

Speaker Arden Thomas, Kittitas County Water Resources Management

By Jason McCormick - McCormick Water Strategies

The AWRA Washington Section and Central Washington University (CWU) student chapter partnered to host a dinner meeting on Thursday, April 6th , 2023 at The Pearl Bar & Grill in Ellensburg, WA with guest speaker Arden Thomas, Kittitas County’s Water Resource Program Manager. This was our first in-person dinner meeting since early 2020, and it was a huge success with over 40 students and professionals in attendance. Arden’s talk focused on “Kittitas County’s Trailblazing Water Resource Program”, and she reviewed a historical timeline of the evolution of the County’s Water Resources Program. The story included how and why a county-level water resources program came into being and how the program evolved to meet a spectrum of water resources needs in Kittitas County. She further explored how Private Water Banks served early domestic needs (2010-2014), and how currently (2014-present) the county is entering into public-private partnerships to allow Private Water Banks to sell their water through the County’s Water Resources Program under a standardized pricing structure and operational criteria. Arden also spoke of the array of policy issues, County water bank portfolio management, efforts to advance water supply options for county residents, and implementation of integrated floodplain management projects that she and Program staff accomplish. AWRA-WA plans to continue in-person dinner meetings, so if you missed this one, please keep an eye out for the next meeting.


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