After addressing the Washington State Water Resources Association at its annual conference in Spokane last Friday morning, Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, was presented with the group’s Water Statesman Award. The association, comprising irrigation-district representatives from across Washington, confers the honor only when members believe it is deserved.
“I was completely caught off guard by this award,” Honeyford said. “I was expecting to deliver a speech to the association updating them on water issues in central Washington, and was totally surprised when they announced I would be receiving their highest honor for the second time.”
The Water Statesman Award recipient is chosen when appropriate by members of the association based on the actions of those who have made a significant contribution to water issues. Previous recipients are:
- Sen. Irv Newhouse, 1995;
- Tom Carpenter, 1997;
- Rep. Gary Chandler, 1998;
- Sen. Jim Honeyford, 2003;
- Sen. Bob Morton, 2006;
- Mark A. Limbaugh, 2007;
- Kris Polly, 2008;
- J. William McDonald, 2009; and
- U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings in 2011
“The association gave me this honor as a result of my work and support of the Yakima Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan which – when completed – will provide approximately 70 percent of the usual amount of water during a drought,” Honeyford remarked. “I’m also particularly humbled since this is the first time that an individual has received the award twice.”
Honeyford – who serves as the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee – added that water issues will continue to be a top priority for him during the 2014 legislative session and beyond.