Okanogan Wilderness League (OWL), a local environmental organization, has appealed water right changes that impact the Methow Valley Irrigation District (MVID) and the Town of Twisp.
The appeal challenges three water right changes issued by the state Department of Ecology in August. The changes apply to MVID surface water rights for the Twisp River, Methow River and Alder Creek, transferring those rights to a trust water program — or water bank — said Dan Haller, a water consultant for MVID and Twisp.
A portion of water from the water bank would be used for wells that will be part of the new MVID system, and for municipal water for Twisp under a sale agreement with MVID, Haller said.
In its appeal, OWL contends there are additional water rights that need to be considered, said OWL president Lee Bernheisel.
His appeal, filed with the state Pollution Control Hearings Board, also contends that state and federal environmental analyses for the MVID improvement project are incomplete. Bernheisel said a hearing date on the appeal is set for mid-May, 2015.