ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) – A Washington state environmental official says lawmakers need to be less reactive and take a long-term approach to handling drought.

The Yakima Herald reported Wednesday that Jeff Marti of the state Department of Ecology delivered the assessment to a joint legislative committee Wednesday.

The water resources planner says water “is going to be scarce and the cost will go up. The amount we wanted to invest (in drought response) won’t go as far.”

The meeting of the Water Supply During Drought Joint Committee at Central Washington University occurred as drought emergencies are being declared in 27 watersheds.

Committee members say they will recommend a drought-response bill and allocation of more funding in the upcoming legislative session.

Officials say $2 million was allocated this year for irrigation in drought areas.

Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com

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