Updating the Washington Irrigation Guide (WIG)

  • 15 Oct 2013
  • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Starlight Lounge and Dining Room, 402 North Pearl Street, Ellensburg, Washington 98926


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Dinner Meeting

October 15, 2013 – Dinner Meeting in Ellensburg

The Washington Section of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA-WA) will host our first Dinner Meeting in Ellensburg, Washington.  A donation of $10 is requested from all professionals; Students can attend at no cost, thanks to the ongoing support of our corporate sponsors.  Entry includes light appetizers and a drink ticket (micro brew or nonalcoholic).

You may register for this event on our website (and pay in advance), or RSVP to Tyson Carlson and pay directly at the event. In order to register online, you will need to sign up as a guest member (free) prior to registering, or you may join AWRA-WA as an active member to receive additional membership benefits through 2014.

Updating the Washington Irrigation Guide (WIG)

Presentation by Melissa Downes, Washington State Department of Ecology; and Dan Haller, Aspect Consulting

The WIG is an important guidance document used extensively throughout the state for irrigation system design, irrigation scheduling and management, water rights evaluation, and hydrologic studies.  In 2008, the Department of Ecology (Ecology), Washington State University (WSU), and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) funded an update to the Washington Irrigation Guide (WIG).  The current WIG was published in 1985 and estimates crop irrigation requirements for 90 locations throughout Washington State for 60 different crops.  With changes in climate, crops, irrigation systems, and ET methodologies, the existing WIG has become old and out-dated.  The new WIG will evaluate ET based on a new methodology for over 100 locations throughout the State, for nearly 100 different crops and using more recent climate data.  This presentation will explain:  Why the WIG update was needed; what tools Ecology uses to evaluate crop water use (and beneficial use), differences between the old WIG and new WIG and any policy issues that may result from implementation/adoption of the new WIG. 

Additional information is available at:



Melissa Downes, LHG received her BS in Environmental Studies from the University of Nebraska in 1997 and MS in Geology from WSU in 2000.  With a few small consulting stints under her belt, Melissa embarked on her Ecology career in 2001 with the Water Resources Program (WRP) in the Central Regional Office (CRO).  She has broad range of water rights experience from providing hydrogeology support for water rights permitting activities to engaging in regional water supply issues to CRO WRP Section Manger.  Currently Melissa serves as technical and policy lead for the Office of Columbia River (OCR).  In this role she assists with project development for OCR, including technical, permitting and policy evaluations of water supply development projects such as storage reservoirs, ASR projects, pump exchanges, water acquisitions, and conservation projects. 

Dan Haller, PE is a state-recognized water rights expert, fluent in all aspects of the water code. Dan’s background includes management of storage and conservation projects, water banking and water rights transfers, and water system design and financial planning experience.  He provides expert witness declarations and testimony for water right permitting disputes, and has testified before the Pollution Control Hearings Board and provided support to the State Attorney General’s Office on water cases decided at Superior Court and the Court of Appeals.  Before joining Aspect, Dan spent more than a decade with the Department of Ecology where he worked on hundreds of water rights and managed multi-million dollar grant projects for the Office of Columbia River.

Event Details

Starlight Lounge and Dining Room

402 North Pearl Street

Ellensburg, Washington 98926

(509) 962-6100

5:30 to 6:30 – Social Hour, with appetizers and beverage(s)

6:30 to 7:30 – Presentation, with discussion following as time allows

Membership is required to register for events.  

Cancellation Policy: WA-AWRA will fully refund the registration fee if cancellation notice is received within 5 days of the event.


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