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Kittitas (pronounced 'KITT-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
On this page:
Kittitas County and the State of Washington, Department of Ecology
(Ecology) spent two years working cooperatively, as late as July 8,
2009, to establish a permanent rule to manage exempt groundwater wells
until more is known about the aquifers and water supplies in upper
Kittitas County. The new rule would have established interim and long
term management measures and calls for development of a comprehensive
groundwater study. However, on July 16th, 2009, Ecology announced that
they were unable to gain a commitment from the Kittitas County Board of
Commissioners to move forward with a revised memorandum of agreement and
alternative rule approach. Ecology filed an emergency rule that closes
upper Kittitas County to all new groundwater withdrawals effective July
16, 2009 through November 13, 2009 and/or 120 days (for more
information, see Background Information below).
Contact information for agencies that are available to answer questions related to the current Emergency
Rule Chapter 173-539A WAC is as follows:
A private organization in Kittitas County, Aqua Permanente,
submitted a petition to Ecology requesting a moratorium be imposed
on use of new exempt wells in Kittitas County until sufficient
information is known about potential effects from such wells on
senior water rights and stream flows.
Ecology was required to act on the petition by November 9, 2007.
On that date, the Parties entered into an Agreement in Principle for
the development of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Based upon the
Agreement in Principle, Ecology declined the request to
categorically withdraw ground waters in Kittitas County from
appropriation pending further study. The Agreement in Principle
provided the framework for the MOA, including provisions for
implementation of interim management strategies and development of a
comprehensive ground water study and long-term management plan for
the area known as upper Kittitas County. This MOA formalized
obligations of the County and Ecology regarding those provisions.
Kittitas County and the Ecology entered into a Memorandum of
Agreement (MOA) on April 8, 2007 which established the basic
principles to be employed in order to evaluate the use of exempt
ground water well and associated water withdrawals.
= posted within the last 48 hours.
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.