BILL REQ. #:  S-0870.1 


State of Washington61st Legislature2009 Regular Session

By Senators Schoesler, Honeyford, Morton, and Delvin

Read first time 01/27/09.   Referred to Committee on Environment, Water & Energy.

     AN ACT Relating to water resource management; amending RCW 90.44.035 and 90.44.050; and declaring an emergency.


Sec. 1   RCW 90.44.035 and 2000 c 98 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
     ((For purposes of this chapter:)) The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
     (1) "Department" means the department of ecology;
     (2) "Director" means the director of ecology;
     (3) "Groundwaters" means all waters that exist beneath the land surface or beneath the bed of any stream, lake or reservoir, or other body of surface water within the boundaries of this state, whatever may be the geological formation or structure in which such water stands or flows, percolates or otherwise moves. There is a recognized distinction between natural groundwater and artificially stored groundwater;
     (4) "Natural groundwater" means water that exists in underground storage owing wholly to natural processes;
     (5) "Artificially stored groundwater" means water that is made available in underground storage artificially, either intentionally, or incidentally to irrigation and that otherwise would have been dissipated by natural processes; ((and))
     (6) "Stock watering" means all reasonable uses of water normally associated with the care and management of livestock including, but not limited to, drinking, feeding, cleaning of stalls, washing livestock, washing equipment used in the feeding or milking of livestock, controlling dust around livestock, and cooling livestock; and
"Underground artificial storage and recovery project" means any project in which it is intended to artificially store water in the ground through injection, surface spreading and infiltration, or other department-approved method, and to make subsequent use of the stored water. However, (a) this subsection does not apply to irrigation return flow, or to operational and seepage losses that occur during the irrigation of land, or to water that is artificially stored due to the construction, operation, or maintenance of an irrigation district project, or to projects involving water reclaimed in accordance with chapter 90.46 RCW; and (b) RCW 90.44.130 applies to those instances of claimed artificial recharge occurring due to the construction, operation, or maintenance of an irrigation district project or operational and seepage losses that occur during the irrigation of land, as well as other forms of claimed artificial recharge already existing at the time a groundwater subarea is established.

Sec. 2   RCW 90.44.050 and 2003 c 307 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) After June 6, 1945, no withdrawal of public groundwaters of the state shall be begun, nor shall any well or other works for such withdrawal be constructed, unless an application to appropriate such waters has been made to the department and a permit has been granted by it as herein provided: EXCEPT, HOWEVER, That any withdrawal of public groundwaters for ((stock-watering)) stock watering purposes not to exceed three hundred fifty acre feet of water per year, or for the watering of a lawn or of a noncommercial garden not exceeding one-half acre in area, or for single or group domestic uses in an amount not exceeding five thousand gallons a day, or as provided in RCW 90.44.052, or for an industrial purpose in an amount not exceeding five thousand gallons a day, is and shall be exempt from the provisions of this section, but, to the extent that it is regularly used beneficially, shall be entitled to a right equal to that established by a permit issued under the provisions of this chapter((: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That)).
     (2)(a) However,
the department from time to time may require the person or agency making any such small withdrawal to furnish information as to the means for and the quantity of that withdrawal((: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That)).
     (b) Prior to withdrawing more than fifteen thousand gallons a day for stock watering purposes, the department shall require the following:
     (i) A report of examination describing the quantity of water to be withdrawn;
     (ii) The development schedule;
     (iii) A metering plan;
     (iv) A water right impairment analysis prepared by a qualified hydrologist or engineer;
     (v) Proof of compliance with any applicable county land use planning;
     (vi) Compliance with applicable state environmental policy act requirements; and
     (vii) Generally applicable well construction and reporting requirements.
     (3) A
t the option of the party making withdrawals of groundwaters of the state not exceeding five thousand gallons per day, applications under this section or declarations under RCW 90.44.090 may be filed and permits and certificates obtained in the same manner and under the same requirements as is in this chapter provided in the case of withdrawals in excess of five thousand gallons a day.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.

--- END ---