Working to preserve farmland, increase food production acreage, and meet farmer needs for flooding management and access to water.
Many farms in King County lack access to irrigation water and dryland farming is becoming increasingly more challenging due to climate change. Improved access to a dependable source of irrigation water has the potential to improve production opportunities for many farmers and allow for an expansion or enhancement of their agricultural business.
For example, according to a 2017 survey conducted by King County, approximately 20% of acreage in the Sammamish Agricultural Production District could be returned to food production if all farms had access to adequate irrigation.
The newly formed Snoqualmie Valley Watershed Improvement District (WID) recently launched an innovative program to facilitate water rights transfers to farms within the Snoqualmie Valley.
In 2018, King County is examining active water rights for county-owned property and will ensure that those rights are maintained for agriculture and other beneficial uses. A water needs assessment is planned for 2019 that will provide valuable information on the unmet demand for irrigation water by farms across King County.
Acres of Farmland Irrigating with Leased Water
Target: All farmers that are managing their land for food production have access to adequate irrigation water.