New Water Rights May Be Available from Sullivan Lake Water Release

The Washington State Department of Ecology announced today that beginning in late 2012, up to 9,400 acre feet of water to be released from Sullivan Lake in Northeast Washington will become available for new water rights in Pend Oreille, Ferry, Lincoln, Stevens, Okanogan and Douglas counties. Additional amounts of released water will be available to support stream flows for the benefit of fisheries in Sullivan Creek, the Pend Oreille River, and the Columbia River. The Ecology announcement notes that the water is being made available because the Pend Oreille Public Utility District is surrendering its license for the Sullivan Creek Hydroelectric Project. Any new water right applications, however, will join the end of the line of pending applications that Ecology has deemed potentially eligible for water supply from this release.