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Farmer, landowners fined $618,000 for drawing from Odessa aquifer

A Grant County, Wash., farmer and the landowners he leased fields from have been fined a total of $618,000 by the state Department of Ecology for illegally drawing from the shrinking Odessa aquifer to irrigate 530 acres this year. Ecology alleges that Ron Fode continued to irrigate after he and the landowners were told more than once last spring to stop.“This isn’t fair to other irrigators who follow the law or to local communities and rural landowners who depend on this groundwater for their drinking water,” Ecology water resources manager Mary Verner said in a written statement.

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Capital Press