Statement by Rob Masonis of American Rivers

State must understand water needs before embracing new dams Contact: Michael Garrity, 206-852-5583 (cell) Amy Kober, 206-213-0330 x23 Seattle -- Crab Creek, Sand Hollow and Hawk Creek are three potential sites for a new water storage reservoir, the Washington Department of Ecology is expected to announce today. The three sites are analyzed in Ecology’s “appraisal assessment” for new storage in the Columbia Basin, which identifies sites that are technically viable for water storage. Rob Masonis, senior director of the Northwest office of American Rivers, made the following statement: “We welcome information contained in Ecology’s assessment. We must understand our water supply options in order to make good decisions. But before we go any further in this process, we must first make sure we understand what our water supply needs are. To date, there is no factual information suggesting a need for the enormous quantity of water that would be stored behind the dams analyzed in this report.” “Crab Creek, the number one site on Ecology’s list, has incredible value for fish and wildlife as well as the state’s hunters and anglers. To avoid spending billions of taxpayer dollars on a new large dam that will inundate private property, farmland, prized fishing lakes, critical habitat for endangered steelhead, and the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, we need a thorough and accurate analysis of our water needs and whether those needs can be met by more cost-effective and less-damaging alternatives, including more efficient water use, water conservation and market-based tools.” “Global warming threatens to fundamentally change rivers and water supply in Washington. Until we answer two critical questions -- how much water will we need and where will we need it -- we should not invest more time and money further analyzing particular dam sites.” “We appreciate the constructive dialogue we have established with Ecology, tribes, water users, and others to address long-term water needs in the Columbia Basin, and we look forward to continuing this collaborative effort.” # American Rivers is the only national organization standing up for healthy rivers so our communities can thrive. Through national advocacy, innovative solutions and our growing network of strategic partners, we protect and promote our rivers as valuable community assets that are vital to our health, safety and quality of life. Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 65,000 members and online supporters nationwide, with offices in Washington, DC and the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, California and Northwest regions. www.AmericanRivers.org Amy Kober Northwest Outreach & Communications Director American Rivers 4005 20th Ave West, Suite 221 Seattle, WA 98199 206-213-0330 x23 www.AmericanRivers.org American Rivers protects and restores healthy natural rivers for the benefit of people, fish, and wildlife.