S-0297.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 5041



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Senators Honeyford, Hale, Hochstatter, Swecker and Deccio


Read first time 01/08/2001.  Referred to Committee on Environment, Energy & Water.

Allowing a water conservancy board to approve or deny certain water transfers.

    AN ACT Relating to water conservancy board authority; and amending RCW 90.80.010, 90.80.070, 90.80.120, and 90.80.140.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 90.80.010 and 1997 c 441 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:

    The following definitions apply throughout this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

    (1) "Board" means a water conservancy board created under this chapter.

    (2) "Commissioner" means a member of a water conservancy board.

    (3) "Department" means the department of ecology.

    (4) "Director" means the director of the department of ecology.

    (5) "Transfer" means a transfer, change, or amendment to a water right referred to in RCW 90.03.380, 90.03.390, or 90.44.100.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 90.80.070 and 1997 c 441 s 9 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) Applications to the board for transfers shall be made on a form provided by the department, and shall contain such additional information as may be required by the board in order to review and act upon the application.  At a minimum, the application shall include information sufficient to establish to the board's satisfaction of the transferor's right to the quantity of water being transferred, and a description of any applicable limitations on the right to use water, including the point of diversion or withdrawal, place of use, source of supply, purpose of use, quantity of use permitted, time of use, period of use, and the place of storage.

    (2) The transferor and the transferee of any proposed water transfer may apply to a board for approval of the transfer if the water proposed to be transferred is currently diverted, withdrawn, or used within the geographic boundaries of the county, or would be diverted, withdrawn, or used within the geographic boundaries of the county if the transfer is approved.  In the case of a proposed water transfer in which the water is currently diverted or would be diverted outside the geographic boundaries of the county, the board shall hold a public hearing in the county of the diversion or proposed diversion.  The board shall provide for prominent publication of notice of such hearing in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in which the hearing is to be held for the purpose of affording an opportunity for interested persons to comment upon the application.

    (3) After an application for a transfer is filed with the board, the board shall publish notice of the application in accordance with the publication requirements and send notice to state agencies as provided in RCW 90.03.280.  Any person may submit comments to the board regarding the application.  Any water right holder claiming detriment or injury to an existing water right may intervene in the application before the board pursuant to subsection (4) of this section.  If a majority of the board determines that the application is complete, in accordance with the law and the transfer can be made without injury or detriment to existing water rights in accordance with RCW 90.03.380, 90.03.390, or 90.44.100, the board shall issue the applicant a certificate conditionally approving the transfer, subject to review by the director.

    (4) If a water right holder claims a proposed transfer will cause an impairment to that right, the water right holder is entitled to a hearing before the board.  The board shall receive such evidence as it deems material and necessary to determine the validity of the claim of impairment.  If the party claiming the impairment establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that his or her water right will be impaired by the proposed transfer, the board may not approve the transfer unless the applicant and the impaired party agree upon compensation for the impairment.


    Sec. 3.  RCW 90.80.120 and 1997 c 441 s 16 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) A commissioner of a water conservancy board who has an ownership interest in a water right subject to an application for approval of a transfer ((or change)) by the board, shall not participate in the board's review or decision upon the application.

    (2) A commissioner of a water conservancy board who also serves as an employee or upon the governing body of a municipally owned water system, shall not participate in the board's review or decision upon an application for the transfer ((or change)) of a water right in which that water system has or is proposed to have an ownership interest.


    Sec. 4.  RCW 90.80.140 and 1997 c 441 s 18 are each amended to read as follows:

    Nothing in this chapter affects transfers that may be otherwise approved under chapter 90.03 or 90.44 RCW.


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