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Newhouse Applauds Kennewick Irrigation District Title Transfer

September 17, 2021
Press Release
Transfer supports local management of water supplies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) announced the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) has transmitted official congressional notification of the proposed conveyance of title to the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID). He released the following statement in support of the title transfer:

“Communities in Central Washington and across the western United States are too often faced with the detrimental impacts of droughts and water shortages. By transferring BOR works to a local entity like KID, water suppliers can better manage critical water resources and empower water managers to be as responsive, efficient, and innovative as possible in serving their community,” said Rep. Newhouse. “In addition to transferring works, the title transfer will provide for reduced federal liabilities, and with KID prepaying for the works, there is an additional cost-saving benefit to the federal government. This action is a win-win for local water providers, Central Washington’s communities, and taxpayers.”

“Title transfer is an essential part of the future of KID 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 title transfer will provide to the Tri-Cities and the lower Yakima River basin through increased flexibility and efficiency in water management,” said Gene Huffman, President of the KID Board of Directors.

Background:

  • Rep. Newhouse introduced legislation to authorize the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) title transfer, which conveys title for the facilities managed and operated by KID. It does not privatize federal water projects or properties within the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR).
  • Earlier this year, Rep. Newhouse toured KID facilities to learn how the upcoming title transfer would impact local communities. Read more here.
  • The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, signed into law by President Trump in 2019, created a process for title transfers to be completed administratively.
  • The law requires the Administration to transmit a congressional notification of the proposed conveyance. Congress has 90 days to enact a joint resolution disapproving the conveyance.
  • After 90 days, under this title transfer, BOR will convey all rights, titles, and interest, including mineral interest, of the United States in and to the KID subject to the terms and conditions included in the title transfer agreement.
  • Upon conveyance of title, KID will take ownership and manage these assets to meet current needs in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

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