Thomas Myrum, Executive Director and General Counsel
626 Columbia Street NW, Suite 2-D
Olympia, WA 98501
The Washington State Water Resources Association is the coordinating agency for irrigation districts in Washington State. It is the mission of the Washington State Water Resources Association to promote the responsible stewardship of the water of the state, to protect irrigated lands for present and future generations and to preserve the water rights and interests of irrigation districts and irrigation companies in Washington State.
The WSWRA is a governmental agency organized under state law RCW 87.76. The headquarters are in Olympia, WA. WSWRA represents over 100 irrigation districts and companies who deliver water to over 1.1 million acres of irrigated agriculture in the state. The Association is managed by Executive Director Tom Myrum, who has been running the Association for almost 19 years. Tom is a trained lawyer and a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. The Association contracts with both state and federal lobbyists to manage its governmental affairs programs. The association has a 15-member board of directors.
The WSWRA is the oldest and continuously active state organization dedicated to the development and operation of irrigated lands and to related water resource activities in Washington State. The present Association began its formal status in 1914 under the title of Washington Irrigation Institute. The title of the organization was changed in 1945 to the Washington State Reclamation Association to reflect its affiliation with the National Reclamation Association. WSWRA has been affiliated with the National Water Resources Association since that time.
Some of the most notable features of irrigation in Washington State include two major federal Reclamation Projects, the Yakima Project and the Columbia Basin Project. There are smaller federal and private irrigation projects throughout eastern Washington. These two projects are testament to the notion that water resources projects could form the economic drivers for state and local economies while supporting statewide, national and international goals for food production. The dream for Grand Coulee Dam was for agricultural production on a grand scale. Little thought was given to how valuable power production would become in World II and beyond. Washington has long been known for its apple production but its diversity of crops from potatoes to grapes to hops and much more is made possible because of the reliable and naturally renewable supply of water and the visionary systems that deliver it to the farms.
Irrigation in Washington State is dedicated to providing water through modern means of water delivery and conservation techniques. Change is a constant in the water delivery world as irrigation districts work to meet the challenges of the day. WSWRA provides the forum for the exchange of ideas that lead to the betterment of the industry as a whole.