King County Irrigation Water Needs Assessment
King County will conduct an assessment of current agricultural water rights by sub-basin, identify opportunities to enhance agricultural production by providing additional access to irrigation water and propose strategies to increase availability of irrigation water. Much of the farmland in King County is either without access to irrigation water or does not have enough to meet its full needs. Expanding how much irrigation water is available to farms and making more efficient use of the irrigation water that is available can have a significant impact on increasing crop yields and production density, enables farmers to grow higher-revenue producing crops, and encourages diversification of crops grown. Adding irrigation to a business plan would support King County’s Local Food Initiative by keeping farmland in food production and allowing farmers to begin producing food crops on land that is currently farmable but unfarmed or farmed for crops other than those intended for direct human consumption.
This project will
- Describe current agricultural irrigation water use by sub-watershed
- Provide an understanding of the scale and location of the current and future demand for agricultural water on farmland in King County
- Identify actionable opportunities to address this demand
Mary joined KCD in late 2015 and currently serves as Senior Manager for the Regional Food System Program. Mary came to KCD from Cascade Harvest Coalition, a non-profit which she founded and directed since 1999. Mary brings more than three decades of passion, experience and expertise in natural resource management, agricultural economics, and food system development. Mary coordinates the KCD Regional Food System Program, including Strategic Initiatives and Food System Grants, with the goals of making an enduring contribution toward strengthening King County’s food economy. Mary’s education includes a BS in Political Economy of Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics from Montana State University, Bozeman. Outside of work, Mary enjoys hiking the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her yellow lab, Libby, and photography.