July 1, 2015
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1119 Meade Ave. 786-7787
613 7th Street
Prosser, WA 99350
Photo courtesy of BentonREA
Benton REA lineman, Jeff Ripplinger illustrates what happens when contact is made to a fully energized powerline during high voltage safety training for the Benton County Fire District #4 on June 17 in West Richland.

Benton REA hosts high voltage demonstration for local firefighters

Prosser - Benton REA, along with Benton PUD, held a high voltage safety demonstration for Benton County Fire District #4 firefighters on June 17 at Benton REA's operations facility located in West Richland.
The demonstration is headed up by safety coordinator Steve Frost, who facilitates the safety outreach program used by area utilities to help train local firefighters about the different dangers of electricity and safety protocols when dealing with downed power lines.
Early water restrictions for eastern Washington irrigators

Olympia A dramatic drop in stream flows caused by drought has several hundred irrigators in north-central and eastern Washington facing water cutoffs far earlier than normal this year.
That's because snowpack in Washington melted a month early, and 43 percent of rivers statewide are now running at record-low levels.
As a result, about 380 irrigators on the Wenatchee, Okanogan, Similkameen, Methow, Colville and Little Spokane rivers are being notified by the Department of Ecology to curtail their water use.
These irrigators have water rights that can be restricted when streamflows drop below certain levels (as set by law). Water users will call a hotline to find out if they can irrigate that day.
Streamlined regulations encourage water reuse

Olympia A draft rule would help Washington deal with water shortages by encouraging local jurisdictions to reuse or reclaim water.
Reclaimed water is water that is treated by sewer plants to ensure it is safe for other uses, such as irrigation, controlling dust or flushing toilets. Use of reclaimed water conserves our limited supplies of drinking water.
Reclaimed water can also be reused to create, restore and enhance wetlands, recharge underground water supplies, and increase flows in rivers. It improves water quality by reducing the amount of wastewater that treatment plants discharge into Puget Sound and other waters.
Rep. Newhouse Welcomes Federal Agricultural Disaster Designation for Central Washington Due to Drought

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Secretary, Thomas Vilsack, announced the designation of select Central Washington counties as primary natural disaster areas due to the ongoing drought. The USDA designation allows farmers to be considered for eligibility for additional federal disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency, including emergency loans.
"I am encouraged by Secretary Vilsack's declaration recognizing the historic drought facing agricultural producers in Central Washington," said Rep. Newhouse.