WASHINGTON DC – Today Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) participated in a title transfer ceremony with Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Commissioner Camille Touton for the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) and the Greater Wenatchee Irrigation District (GWID). Representative Newhouse issued the following statement in support of the title transfers:
“This day has been a long time coming, and I am pleased to see the efforts of our local water managers and operators who have laid the groundwork and effectively advocated for local management of our resources come to fruition in this transfer of title. By transferring the work of BOR to local entities such as KID and GWID, our critical water resources can be managed by those who know our needs best, the men and women who live, work and farm right here in our communities.” , Rep. Newhouse said. “Thank you to Commissioner Touton for her work in facilitating this transfer, this is exactly the kind of improvement we need to enable our irrigation districts to efficiently deliver water to our rural communities. Congratulations to the Kennewick and Greater Wenatchee Irrigation Districts and all who benefit so greatly from their important work for our region.
“I am excited to work towards the effective implementation of the Dingell Act, as I believe in the mutual benefits the new title transfer process would have for water users and the federal government,” said restoration curator Camille Touton. “I am very proud to see the transmission of these two federal title transfers to Washington’s irrigation districts as a direct result of this effort.”
“Water managers, users and federal partners have rolled up their sleeves to do this work. The transfer of ownership places management of our region’s most vital resource – water – in the hands of those who live here and know it best, said Craig Gyselinck, director of the Greater Wenatchee Irrigation District (GWID). The hard work of those who contributed to this success will be felt for years to come. I look forward to implementing the new benefits we have gained through title transfer. The future is bright for GWID and our region.
“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 unwavering support of this endeavor, and we look forward to reaping the benefits that the 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.
- 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).
- Last year, Rep. Newhouse toured KID facilities to learn how the upcoming title transfer would impact local communities. Learn more here.
- In August 2021, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) delivered formal congressional notification of the proposed title transfer to the Greater Wenatchee Irrigation District (GWID).
- In September 2021, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) delivered formal congressional notification of the proposed conveyance of title to the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID).
- As Western Caucus Chair, Rep. Newhouse (WA-04) hosted a podcast with U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton, Kennewick Irrigation District Director Chuck Freeman, and Craig Gyselinck, Director of the Greater Wenatchee Irrigation District, to discuss the challenges and opportunities arising from federal water infrastructure in Washington State and throughout the West.
- 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 Irrigation District subject to the terms and conditions included in the title transfer agreement.
- Upon transfer of title, the Irrigation District will own and manage these assets to meet current needs in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local laws.