The Methow Watershed Council actively assists in managing water supplies for a sustainable balance between human and ecological needs. The Council endorses the development of voluntary strategies for optimizing water use and provides ongoing community outreach and education on valley-specific water issues.
Created in 1999, by authority of the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Methow Watershed Council educates the public about water-related issues and advises local water managers, including Okanogan County, local towns, and tribes. In 2005 the Council completed, and the Okanogan County commissioners adopted, the Methow Watershed Plan. In 2009 details for implementing that plan were approved. Now the Council serves as a locally based, knowledgeable board acknowledged by government agencies and organizations as an effective group working to ensure the best possible water management for the Methow Basin.
The Methow River Basin (WRIA 48) is located in Okanogan County in north central Washington. The Methow River occupies a deep valley draining the eastern slope of the north Cascade Mountains and forms an important tributary to the Columbia River. Tributaries to the Methow River include Lost, Chewuch, and Twisp Rivers, Early Winters Creek and numerous smaller streams. Approximately 84 percent of WRIA 48 is owned by the Federal Government, primarily managed by the United States Forest Service. Approximately 5 percent of WRIA 48 is owned by Washington State including about 35,000 acres owned by the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Fish and Wildlife, and approximately 11 percent of WRIA 48 is private lands. Private lands are primarily located in alluvial valleys of the Methow and lower Twisp and Chewuch Rivers. Land use is primarily forest and range land in the uplands and residential and agriculture in the lowlands.
Preserve agricultural use
Investigate and implement storage opportunities
Update the Methow Instream Flow Rule (WAC 173-548)
Provide adequate water to the towns of Winthrop and Twisp
Welcome to the Methow Watershed Council
The MWC is hosting water banking experts at its next meeting, June 17, to answer your questions. For more information about the meeting, see our newsletter. Email your questions to the MWC by JUNE 16, 2021.
View the Water 2066 Final Report here. Also find on the project page, a review analysis of the outcomes of the project.
Read about funding for water banking in this Methow Valley News article.
Meetings are held the third Thursday of every month. We'll be meeting remotely due to Covid-19 until further notice. Please read your newsletter for meeting details.
The public is always welcome!
Click on the links below for the agenda or meeting minutes.
Online meeting link published in e-news each month.
Earlier meeting minutes can be found in the Minutes Archive
Join our new E-News list! Click here to join our new mailing list to receive the latest on MWC news, meetings, and events. E-News is sent to you approximately once per month, and contains current meeting information.
Click here to donate to the Methow Watershed Foundation.
Attend our monthly meetings to learn about what is happening in your watershed, check in with others, and bring your concerns to the table.