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The waters of Washington State collectively belong to the public and cannot be owned by any one individual or group. Instead, individuals or groups may be granted rights to use them. A water right is a legal authorization to use a predefined quantity of public water for a designated purpose. This purpose must qualify as a beneficial use. Beneficial use involves the application of a reasonable quantity of water to a non-wasteful use, such as irrigation, domestic water supply, or power generation, to name a few. An average household uses about 300 gallons of water per day.
State law requires certain users of public waters to receive approval from the state prior to using water - in the form of a water right permit or certificate. Any use of surface water (lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, or springs) which began after the state water code was enacted in 1917 requires a water-right permit or certificate.
Likewise, withdrawals of underground (ground) water from 1945 onward, when the state groundwater code was enacted, require a water right permit or certificate – unless the use is specifically exempt from state permitting requirements. While “exempt” groundwater uses are excused from needing a state permit, they still are considered to be water rights.
Ecology utilizes three programs to facilitate a water market. They are the Trust Water Rights Program, the Water Acquisition Program, and Water Banking.
Trust Water Rights Program
Protecting water rights for future uses
The Washington State Trust Water Rights Program provides a way to legally hold water rights for future uses without the water right relinquishing.
Water is held in trust to benefit groundwater and instream flows, and other beneficial uses. While water is held in trust it retains its original priority date. The Trust Water Rights Program is used to implement the Water Acquisition Program and for holding water for Water Banking activities.
The Washington State Trust Water Rights program provides a way to legally hold water rights for future uses without the water right relinquishing. Water is held in trust to benefit groundwater and instream flows, and other beneficial uses. While water is held in trust it retains its original priority date.
Acquisition or donation of trust water rights.
(1)(a) The department may acquire water rights, including but not limited to storage rights, by purchase, lease, gift, or other appropriate means other than by condemnation, from any person or entity or combination of persons or entities. Once acquired, such rights are trust water rights. A water right acquired by the state that is expressly conditioned to limit its use to instream purposes shall be administered as a trust water right in compliance with that condition.
(b) If the holder of a right to water from a body of water chooses to donate all or a portion of the person's water right to the trust water system to assist in providing instream flows on a temporary or permanent basis, the department shall accept the donation on such terms as the person may prescribe as long as the donation satisfies the requirements of subsection (4) of this section and the other applicable requirements of this chapter and the terms prescribed are relevant and material to protecting any interest in the water right retained by the donor. Once accepted, such rights are trust water rights within the conditions prescribed by the donor.
(2) The department may make such other arrangements, including entry into contracts with other persons or entities as appropriate to ensure that trust water rights acquired in accordance with this chapter can be exercised to the fullest possible extent.
(3) The trust water rights may be acquired on a temporary or permanent basis.
(4) A water right donated under subsection (1)(b) of this section shall not exceed the extent to which the water right was exercised during the five years before the donation nor may the total of any portion of the water right remaining with the donor plus the donated portion of the water right exceed the extent to which the water right was exercised during the five years before the donation. A water right holder who believes his or her water right has been impaired by a trust water right donated under subsection (1)(b) of this section may request that the department review the impairment claim. If the department determines that exercising the trust water right resulting from the donation or exercising a portion of that trust water right donated under subsection (1)(b) of this section is impairing existing water rights in violation of RCW 90.38.902, the trust water right shall be altered by the department to eliminate the impairment. Any decision of the department to alter or not alter a trust water right donated under subsection (1)(b) of this section is appealable to the pollution control hearings board under RCW 43.21B.230. A donated water right's status as a trust water right under this subsection is not evidence of the validity or quantity of the water right.
(5) Any water right conveyed to the trust water right system as a gift that is expressly conditioned to limit its use to instream purposes shall be managed by the department for public purposes to ensure that it qualifies as a gift that is deductible for federal income taxation purposes for the person or entity conveying the water right.
(6) If the department acquires a trust water right by lease, the amount of the trust water right shall not exceed the extent to which the water right was exercised during the five years before the acquisition was made nor may the total of any portion of the water right remaining with the original water right holder plus the portion of the water right leased by the department exceed the extent to which the water right was exercised during the five years before the acquisition. A water right holder who believes his or her water right has been impaired by a trust water right leased under this subsection may request that the department review the impairment claim. If the department determines that exercising the trust water right resulting from the leasing or exercising of a portion of that trust water right leased under this subsection is impairing existing water rights in violation of RCW 90.38.902, the trust water right shall be altered by the department to eliminate the impairment. Any decision of the department to alter or not to alter a trust water right leased under this subsection is appealable to the pollution control hearings board under RCW 43.21B.230. The department's leasing of a trust water right under this subsection is not evidence of the validity or quantity of the water right.
(7) For a water right donated to or acquired by the trust water rights program on a temporary basis, the full quantity of water diverted or withdrawn to exercise the right before the donation or acquisition shall be placed in the trust water rights program and shall revert to the donor or person from whom it was acquired when the trust period ends.
Trust water rights program — Water right certificate — Notice of creation or modification.
(1) A trust water right acquired by the state shall be placed in the state trust water rights program to be managed by the department. The department shall exercise its authorities under the law in a manner that protects trust water rights. Trust water rights acquired by the state shall be held in trust and authorized for use by the department for instream flows, irrigation, municipal, or other beneficial uses consistent with applicable regional plans for pilot planning areas, or to resolve critical water supply problems. The state may acquire a groundwater right to be placed in the state trust water rights program. To the extent practicable and subject to legislative appropriation, trust water rights acquired in an area with an approved watershed plan developed under chapter 90.82 RCW shall be consistent with that plan if the plan calls for such acquisition.
(2) The department shall issue a water right certificate in the name of the state of Washington for each permanent trust water right conveyed to the state indicating the quantity of water transferred to trust, the reach or reaches of the stream or the body of public groundwater that constitutes the place of use of the trust water right, and the use or uses to which it may be applied. A superseding certificate shall be issued that specifies the amount of water the water right holder would continue to be entitled to as a result of the water conservation project. The superseding certificate shall retain the same priority date as the original right. For nonpermanent conveyances, the department shall issue certificates or such other instruments as are necessary to reflect the changes in purpose or place of use or point of diversion or withdrawal.
(3) A trust water right retains the same priority date as the water right from which it originated, but as between the two rights, the trust right shall be deemed to be inferior in priority unless otherwise specified by an agreement between the state and the party holding the original right.
(4)(a) Exercise of a trust water right may be authorized only if the department first determines that neither water rights existing at the time the trust water right is established, nor the public interest will be impaired.
(b) If impairment becomes apparent during the time a trust water right is being exercised, the department shall cease or modify the use of the trust water right to eliminate the impairment.
(c) A trust water right acquired by the state and held or authorized for beneficial use by the department is considered to be exercised as long as it is in the trust water rights program.
(d) For the purposes of RCW 90.03.380(1) and 90.42.080(9), the consumptive quantity of a trust water right acquired by the state and held or authorized for use by the department is equal to the consumptive quantity of the right prior to transfer into the trust water rights program.
(5)(a) Before any trust water right is created or modified, the department shall, at a minimum, require that a notice be published in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county or counties in which the storage, diversion, and use are to be made, and in other newspapers as the department determines is necessary, once a week for two consecutive weeks.
(b) At the same time the department shall send a notice containing pertinent information to all appropriate state agencies, potentially affected local governments and federally recognized tribal governments, and other interested parties.
(c) For a trust water right donation described in RCW 90.42.080(1)(b), or for a trust water right lease described in RCW 90.42.080(8) that does not exceed five years, the department may post equivalent information on its web site to meet the notice requirements in (a) of this subsection and may send pertinent information by e-mail to meet the notice requirements in (b) of this subsection.
(6) RCW 90.14.140 through 90.14.230 have no applicability to trust water rights held by the department under this chapter or exercised under this section.
(7) RCW 90.03.380 has no applicability to trust water rights acquired by the state through the funding of water conservation projects.
(8) Subsection (4)(a) of this section does not apply to a trust water right resulting from a donation for instream flows described in RCW 90.42.080(1)(b) or to a trust water right leased under RCW 90.42.080(8) if the period of the lease does not exceed five years.
(9) Where a portion of an existing water right that is acquired or donated to the trust water rights program will assist in achieving established instream flows, the department shall process the change or amendment of the existing right without conducting a review of the extent and validity of the portion of the water right that will remain with the water right holder.
Review Real Estate listing, Properties, Land, homes for sale in Klickitat County, Washington.
As one of this area's Leading Realtors for Real Estate, I would be glad to show you what Klickitat County Washington has to offer. I list and sell land, homes, commercial and investment property in the following area's; Goldendale, Bickleton, Centerville, Maryhill, Klickitat and Lyle, all located in Klickitat County, Washington State.
I am are proud to be affiliated with this area's prominent real estate company. For over 30 years, Klickitat Valley Realty, Inc. has provided professional real estate services to this community and has established a tradition of excellence. In keeping with this tradition, personal service and dedication are our hallmarks. Whether you are buying or selling real estate, we have the resources and the expertise to provide you with excellent service.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.