2017 AWRA Washington State Conference

The 100 Year Anniversary of the Washington Water Code: Where We Came From and Where We’re Going

October 3, 2017

Check-in/refreshments: 7:00 to 8:00 AM

Conference: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Reception 5:00 to 7:00 PM

Mountaineers Seattle Program Center

7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA

 See the full agenda here.

Check out Department of Ecology's posters and other materials here.

The AWRA-WA welcomes you to join us for an interdisciplinary investigation of Washington water from adjudication to technical analysis.  This year’s conference includes an intriguing reflection of the past 100 years of the Washington Water Code, its implementation, and a look forward to the next 100 years.  Stresses from population growth and increasing uncertainty from climate change will test the state’s ability to manage an over allocated resource.  How will we adapt? Do we have the technical and policy tools to meet the challenges ahead?

AWRA-WA is proud to announce keynote speaker Charles Wilkinson – Distinguished Professor, Moses Lasky Professor of Law at the University of Colorado School of Law.  For his full bio, please click the image below.

Professor Wilkinson will present:  Western Water Law and Policy in the Modern Era: Has Washington Made the Needed Changes?


Our conference program includes the following five sessions:

Note: the presentation for each speaker is linked when available.

Session 1: Early Water Code History – Reflecting on the historic cultural significance of water from time-immemorial through early statehood, including the early history of water right appropriation, establishment and development of the surface water code from 1917 through the Water Resources Act of 1971.  This is the era of water appropriation.

Moderator: Andy Dunn, RH2

Pre-Water Code History- Tom Ring, Yakama Nation

Water Code History- Tom McDonald, Cascadia Law Group


Session 2: Contemporary Water Code History – Marking the change from water right appropriation to recognition of competing needs, including protecting the quality of the environment and the natural interrelationships of surface and ground waters, this session will reflect on establishment of the instream flows, management of water resources, and quantification through adjudications and market-based reallocation.

Moderator: Dave Christensen, Department of Ecology

Water Management and Instream Flow- Ken Slattery, retired from Department of Ecology

Protecting Instream Flow- Jim Pacheco, Department of Ecology

Adjudication and Reallocation- Bob Barwin, retired from Department of Ecology

Session 3: Defining Future Risks – The water code must be able to respond to changes in water availability, water demand, population, and climate.  This session will discuss some of the technical, legal, and social issues that will drive future water management and the need for collaboration and adaptability.

Moderator: Steve Hirschey, King County

Water Availability and Reliability: Legal Perspective- Peter Dykstra, Plauche & Carr LLP

The Public Interest and the Future of Water Law- Rachael Paschal Osborn, Attorney at Law

Future Out of Stream Supply and Demand- Jennifer Adam, Washington State University

Session 4: Identifying Possible Solutions – Future solutions to challenges in water resources may be found in current actions that work with today’s code; this session will look at conflict resolution, legal water right certainty, and solutions through infrastructure, including storage and conveyance.

Moderator: Tyson Carlson, Aspect Consulting

Conflict Resolution- Lynette de Silva, Oregon State University

Achieving Legal Certainty- Alan Reichman, Office of the Attorney General of Washington

Storage – J. Ryan Brownlee, Aspect Consulting, LLC

Methow Valley Irrigation District- Lisa Pelly, Trout Unlimited

Session 5: Panel on Legislative Change and Funding Needs – Our conference concludes with a facilitated panel including representatives from agency, legislative, and stakeholder groups discussing what changes need to be made to water management and the water code, and how they will be supported and funded in a time of shrinking state and federal budgets.

Moderator: Adam Gravley, Van Ness Feldman LLP

Charles Wilkinson, University of Colorado

Scott Revell, Roza Irrigation District

Derek Stanford, Representative of 1st Legislative District

Jaime Pinkham, Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission


Questions about the website? Please contact the Webmaster: waawra.webmaster@gmail.com.
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software