Gov. Jay Inslee will celebrate the launch of the first construction project under his signature Yakima Basin Legislation today. (Tuesday)  The legislation approved earlier this year creates an integrated approach to solving water problems in the Yakima Basin. The piping project along Manastash Creek near Ellensburg will provide reliable water for farmers and improve flows and habitat for fish.

Inslee will be joined by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Tom Iseman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, as well as by local ranchers, environmental representatives, and members of the Yakama Nation who will dedicate the project with a ceremonial prayer.

The Manastash Creek Project will deliver irrigation water to farmers more efficiently and provide additional instream flows to Manastash Creek, a stream that is currently dry for part of the year. The project is emblematic of the goals of the basin plan and is a crucial component for restoring steelhead and salmon stocks to healthy levels within the Yakima River Basin.

It balances environmental, social and economic interests by providing for fish passage at existing reservoirs, offering a reliable water supply for farmers and communities, conserving tens of thousands of acres of land, and supporting jobs and recreational opportunities.

Later today Governor Inslee will visit Yakima Valley Community College to celebrate the completion of the Statewide Broad Band Network.