For the last 33 years, Ken Slattery has worked at Washington's Department of Ecology agency. He is retiring soon and has shared his concern for a tremendous water shortage. He cites that more water rights have been sold than are feasibly available to fulfill.
Ken has been recognized for supporting a measure which offsets costs for an application for water rights, as well as for promoting responsible stewardship of natural water ways. In 2008, he was criticized for a letter he sent to Washington's agricultural community which advised them of restrictions that would limit the use of water for livestock applications. His letter infuriated cattle farmers, growers, irrigators, and others, but he seems to have equal criticism for public consumers. The Seattle Times quotes Slattery as saying:
“People…should know that every time they turn on the tap, they may be reducing the flow of (rivers). There's a direct relationship between what you do at home and the health of the environment that's also depending on water.
Although the Seattle Times article is more about highlighting Ken than about the actual water shortage facts in Washington State, these sites seem to offer conflicting data (nothing new for those of us who regularly research online info):
The fact is, when is the last time you read of a water abundance or surplus? It won't happen. We'll never hear about one because we'll find a way to monetize and profit therefrom. Whatever the reason for our water woes, just make sure your water storage and purification are in good shape and maintained.
-The Berkey Guy