All irrigators who draw water from rivers or creeks are required by state law to have an approved fish screen on their diversion. Even landowners watering lawns, small orchards, or pastures must have a fish screen. Without a screen, juvenile fish are at risk from entrapment into the irrigation system, and landowners are at risk for violation of the Endangered Species Act. Funding to assist landowners to install fish screens is very limited and involves applying for grants on behalf of landowners; there is no ready pool of funds. If you need a screen, contact the District right away so we can help you explore your options. Hundreds of landowners in Walla Walla County have taken advantage of our programs to install fish screens.
State law also requires anyone who irrigates, even from a well, to install a water meter. Using a water meter to record your water usage is the best way to document your water usage and protect your water right. Under the district program, 85% of the cost of the meter is paid by our funding partners. This program is set to expire in June of 2018 so don’t delay in contacting the District!