90.92.070  <<  90.92.080 >>   90.92.090

Local water planBoard to adopt guidelines and criteria for filing, review, and approvalAnnual reportsTerm. (Expires June 30, 2019.)

(1) The board shall adopt guidelines and criteria for filing, review, and approval of a local water plan. The board shall also develop a dispute resolution process that provides for water users, the board, and the department to resolve disputes regarding the implementation and enforcement of a local water plan.
(2) A water user or group of water users within the planning area, organized as provided in guidelines adopted by the board, may submit a proposed local water plan to the board.
(3) A local water plan must include:
(a) A determination by the board of the baseline water use for all water rights involved in the local water plan, based on the guidelines adopted by the board, and in consultation with the water resource panel. The baseline documents regarding water use that are submitted by the water users may not be used by the department to determine the validity of the water rights in any future administrative or regulatory actions;
(b) A clearly defined set of practices that provide for flexibility of water use as defined in subsection (4) of this section;
(c) An estimate of the amount of water that would remain instream either long term or during critical flow periods for fish;
(d) Performance measures and options for achieving reductions in total water use from baseline;
(e) Performance measures for tracking improved streamflows either long term or during critical flow periods for fish; and
(f) Measurement, tracking, and monitoring measures and procedures that ensure the implementation and enforcement of the measures for flexibility of water use, enhancement of the streamflows, and other elements, terms, and conditions in the local water plan.
(4) The local water plan may have elements and provide rights to the use and application of water that are not otherwise authorized in the water rights, including:
(a) The ability to use the quantity of water defined as baseline in RCW 90.92.120(1)(a) on new or additional places of use, from new or additional points of diversion or withdrawal, and at different times of the year;
(b) The ability to change or add a source of water supply including the use of groundwater to supplement surface water rights and the ability to implement the conjunctive use of the groundwater and surface water; and
(c) The storage of water and infiltration of the water to the groundwater to supplement shallow groundwater withdrawals or for the purpose of replenishing the aquifer.
(5) To participate in a local water plan, water rights holders must: (a) Agree to allow a portion or all of their baseline water use to remain instream, as specified in the approved local water plan; (b) have existing operable water conveyance infrastructure in place and available for use; (c) agree that any water made available for streamflow enhancement may not be diverted from the water source and used during the term of the local water plan, but instead must be deposited into the water bank or, upon request by the water rights holder, transferred to the trust water rights program consistent with chapter 90.42 RCW; (d) measure and monitor their water use, streamflows upstream and downstream of the boundaries of the plan, and groundwater levels within the boundaries of the plan; and (e) commit to staying in the program consistent with criteria established by the board.
(6) Unless agreed upon by the water rights holder, nothing in this chapter diminishes or changes existing water rights.
(7) The water users must submit annual reports to the department and the board regarding contract performance, consistent with the guidelines adopted by the board.
(8) A local water plan may be effective for a term of one to ten years.


Expiration date2009 c 183: See note following RCW 90.92.010.
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