Yakima Basin commissioners to meet over well water issue - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Basin commissioners to meet over well water issue

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ELLENSBURG--The back-and-forth dispute over drilling new wells in Kittitas County continues.

Wednesday, Kittitas County Commissioners announced they want to meet with commissioners from counties around the Yakima Basin.

Last week, commissioners asked Governor Gregoire to lift the ban on drilling new wells in the Upper Kittitas County imposed by the Department of Ecology last July and renewed March 24.

She declined to do so in a written response Tuesday, instead encouraging Ecology to make a permanent ruling on the drilling of new wells.

Commissioners believe a permanent ruling means the ban will spread throughout Central Washington.

"We expect it to expand to the rest of our county," Kittitas County Commissioner Alan Crankovich said.  "The way the response from the Governor is worded, there's an expectation that this will expand through the entire Yakima Basin."

The Department of Ecology is forming a water bank where people can buy and sell water rights for new wells, but county commissioners do not believe the amount of water available right now is sufficient.

A date for the meeting has not been set.