AP: Wash. Supreme Court upholds change to water law

The AP’s Gene Johnson:

The Washington State Supreme on Thursday unanimously upheld changes the Legislature made to state water law in 2003 – changes that environmentalists fear will encourage sprawl and water speculation.

The changes included characterizing some developments as municipalities – and allowing them to keep the rights to as much water as their system can handle, even if they haven’t historically used that water.

Several American Indian tribes, individuals and environmental groups challenged the changes. They said the Legislature improperly overruled a prior Supreme Court decision and violated the due process rights of people who could lose access to water under the changes.

More background on the case is available on the NWIFC policy tracker blog.