Chelan County is getting $2 million from the state Department of Ecology to use for services in support of the Icicle Creek Watershed in the upper Wenatchee Valley.

Commissioners signed a contract this week with the department to coordinate the funding for members of the Icicle Work Group who use the resources of the watershed.

County Commissioner Bob Bugert says a portion of the money will be going to the Leavenworth area.

"Improving domestic water supply for the city of Leavrnworth," said Bugert. "They'll have some greatly improved delivery and conveyance systems. There's going to be some big improvements underway at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery."

The money will also be used to make improvements to the Icicle-Peshastin and Cascade Orchard Irrigation Districts as well as to water storage within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

The contract with the Department of Ecology identifies seven projects that'll be completed with the total outlay of $2,085,096.

Bugert says the projects all have a common goal. "It's going to improve our ability to manage water, which can be in short supply for all of us," Bugert said. "And so, this is a great step in that way."

The long-term goal of the Icicle Work Group is to replenish and preserve the watershed as a major supplier of water the region.

The watershed has been diminished overtime. Bugert says the lakes themselves have been hurt by wildfires, and there have been issues with aging structures. 

Icicle Creek is a major tributary to the Wenatchee River in Chelan County.  The Icicle Creek watershed encompasses an area of approximately 212 square miles most of which is undeveloped and resides in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and the Wenatchee National Forest.  Flows from Icicle Creek support a range of demands including both instream and out of stream uses which affect a diverse set of stakeholders.

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