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PDFWAC 173-166-030


As used in this chapter:
(1) "Ecology" is the department of ecology.
(2) "Drought conditions" are water supply conditions where a geographical area or a significant part of a geographical area is receiving, or is projected to receive, less than seventy-five percent of normal water supply as the result of natural conditions and the deficiency causes, or is expected to cause, undue hardship to water users within that area.
(3) "Essential minimum" for the fisheries resource is:
(a) That amount of water or flow rate established as a regulation adopted by ecology pursuant to RCW 90.22.020 or 90.54.050;
(b) That amount of water or flow placed as a proviso on a water right permit or certificate; or
(c) That amount of water or flow established on an interim basis to assure the maintenance of fisheries requirements. Such a determination will be made by ecology, in consultation with, among others, the department of fish and wildlife, any concerned federal agencies and affected Indian tribes.
(4) "Executive water emergency committee (EWEC)" is a committee, chaired by the governor's office, including members of state, local, and federal agencies which reviews water supply information provided by the water supply availability committee and determines potential effects of water shortages upon the state of Washington. Affected Indian tribes will be invited to participate.
(5) "Geographical area" is an area within the state of Washington which can be described either by natural or political boundaries and which can be specifically identified in an order declaring a drought emergency. Examples of specific geographical areas include, but are not limited to:
(a) The state of Washington.
(b) Counties.
(c) Water resource inventory areas (WRIAs) as defined in chapter 173-500 WAC.
(d) Individual watersheds which constitute only a portion of a WRIA but whose boundaries can be topographically described.
(e) Groundwater management areas and subareas as defined in chapter 173-100 WAC.
(f) Designated sole source aquifers.
(g) Combinations of the above areas.
(6) "Normal water supply" is for the purpose of determining drought conditions, the median amount of water available to a geographical area, relative to the most recent thirty-year base period used to define climate normals. The determination of drought conditions will consider seasonal water supply forecasts, other relevant hydro-meteorological factors (e.g., precipitation, snowpack, soil moisture, streamflow, and aquifer levels) and also may consider extreme departures from normal conditions over subseasonal time frames.
(7) "Previously established activities" include:
(a) The irrigation of a specified number of acres, using reasonably efficient practices, under a valid water right permit or certificate, or a supported registered water right claim.
(b) Those fish-management activities presently employed to maintain the fisheries resource. The resource itself must neither be restored nor enhanced by drought relief actions available under the provisions of this chapter.
(c) The delivery of water by public and private entities through existing supply systems to present populations, areas, and/or facilities for purposes that are nonagricultural and nonfishery related.
(8) "Reasonably efficient practices" are those practices including, but not limited to, methods of conveyance, use, and disposal of water which are reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances to bring about water use efficiency as determined by an area-specific application of criteria identified by ecology, which may include, among others:
(a) Customary practices in the area;
(b) Reasonableness of any facilities at the time of installation;
(c) Cost of improvements and impacts of the costs of upgrading facilities on the continued use of water by an appropriator;
(d) Changes in water use practices and technology; and
(e) Impact of alternative water use practices on other water uses and the environment.
(9) "Supported registered water right claim" is a registered water right claim which includes sufficient evidence to satisfy ecology that a valid water right would be confirmed should the claim be adjudicated. Applications made for emergency drought permits or water transfers under this chapter must incorporate, either by reference or inclusion, necessary information to enable ecology to make an informed determination with respect to the claim. Such information may include, but is not limited to:
(a) Documentation of continuous historical exercise of the claimed right;
(b) Historical maps depicting the historical means of irrigation and the areas covered by the claimed right;
(c) Legal documentation, including any previous court or administrative board decisions, which addresses the historical nature and extent of the claimed right;
(d) "Old-timer" testimony which addresses the historical nature and extent of the claimed right.
(10) "Water supply availability committee (WSAC)" is a committee, with a core membership consisting of ecology, the National Weather Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal agencies involved in water supply forecasting, which reviews pertinent hydrological and meteorological information and assesses water supply conditions for the state of Washington.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.83B.420. WSR 18-09-031 (Order 17-01), § 173-166-030, filed 4/11/18, effective 5/12/18; WSR 91-03-081 (Order 90-53), § 173-166-030, filed 1/17/91, effective 2/17/91. Statutory Authority: 1977 c 339 § 75. WSR 78-04-019 (Order 78-3), § 173-166-030, filed 3/10/78.]
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