Newhouse applauds transfer of title from Kennewick Irrigation District

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WASHINGTON DC – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) announced that the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) has delivered formal congressional notification of the proposed transfer of title to the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID). He released the following statement in support of the title transfer:

“Communities in central Washington and the western United States all too often face the adverse effects of droughts and water shortages. By transferring the work of BOR to a local entity like KID, water providers can better manage critical water resources and empower water managers to be as responsive, efficient and innovative as possible in the service of their community,” Rep. Newhouse said. “In addition to the transfer of the works, the transfer of title will reduce federal debts, and with KID prepaying for the works, there is an added cost saving benefit to the federal government. This action is a win-win for local water providers, Central Washington communities and ratepayers.”

“The transfer of ownership is a critical part of KID’s future and our ability to best manage precious water resources for our ratepayers in an era of climate variability. We are grateful to Congressman Newhouse for his continued support to this endeavor, and we look forward to reaping the benefits that title transfer will bring to the Tri-Cities and the lower Yakima River Basin through increased flexibility and efficiency in water management,” said Gene Huffman, Chairman of the Board of KID.

Background:

  • Representative Newhouse introduced legislation authorizing the transfer of title of the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID), which conveys title to facilities managed and operated by the KID. It does not privatize federal water projects or properties within the United States Bureau of Reclamation (BOR).
  • Earlier this year, Rep. Newhouse toured KID facilities to learn how the upcoming title transfer would impact local communities. Learn more here.
  • The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Actsigned into law by President Trump in 2019, created a process for title transfers to be administratively completed.
  • The law requires the administration to give notice to Congress of the proposed transfer. Congress has 90 days to pass a joint resolution disapproving the transfer.
  • After 90 days, pursuant to this transfer of title, BOR will convey all right, title and interest, including mineral interests, of the United States in and to the KID subject to the terms and conditions included in the transfer agreement of title.
  • Upon transfer of title, KID will take possession and manage these assets to meet current needs in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local laws.

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