58th Legislature
2004 Regular Session

Passed by the House February 11, 2004
  Yeas 94   Nays 0

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Passed by the Senate March 3, 2004
  Yeas 48   Nays 0

President of the Senate

I, Richard Nafziger, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2504 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.

Chief Clerk

Governor of the State of Washington

Secretary of State
State of Washington



Passed Legislature - 2004 Regular Session
State of Washington58th Legislature2004 Regular Session

By House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources (originally sponsored by Representatives Schoesler, Grant, Holmquist, Cox, Newhouse, Hinkle, Chandler, Sump and McMorris)

READ FIRST TIME 02/05/04.   

     AN ACT Relating to water policy in regions with regulated reductions in aquifer levels; adding new sections to chapter 89.12 RCW; and adding a new section to chapter 90.44 RCW.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   A new section is added to chapter 89.12 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) The legislature finds that conserved water from the developed portions of the federal Columbia basin project can provide an immediate source of surface water to offset a limited portion of ground water depletions within the undeveloped portions of the federal project extending the availability of ground water for domestic, municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses. The department of ecology has adopted rules establishing ground water management subareas within the federal Columbia basin project. A primary purpose of some of the rules was to manage ground water depletions that are occurring as a result of the department's decision to allow continued deep well agricultural irrigation in anticipation that development of the federal Columbia basin project would continue at its historic pace and that project water would replace ground water and recharge the depleted aquifer.
     (2) The legislature also finds that recent studies have documented water conservation in areas served by project irrigation districts as a result of distribution system lining and piping and use of more efficient conveyance system technology.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 89.12 RCW to read as follows:
     It is the intent of the legislature that the department of ecology enter into agreements with the United States and Columbia basin project irrigation districts regarding the allocation of water conserved from within areas currently served by project waters to deep well irrigated lands within the federal Columbia basin project and for other authorized project beneficial uses. The department may provide the irrigation districts data identifying areas with the most serious ground water depletions. The irrigation districts shall consider and may rely on the department's data and recommendations in making allocation decisions to offset ground water withdrawals consistent with the operational constraints of the distribution system.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   A new section is added to chapter 90.44 RCW to read as follows:
     The department shall issue a superseding water right permit or certificate for a ground water right where the source of water is an aquifer for which the department adopts rules establishing a ground water management subarea and water from the federal Columbia basin project is delivered for use by a person who holds such a ground water right. The superseding water right permit or certificate shall designate that portion of the ground water right that is replaced by water from the federal Columbia basin project as a standby or reserve right that may be used when water delivered by the federal project is curtailed or otherwise not available. The period of curtailment or unavailability shall be deemed a low flow period under RCW 90.14.140(2)(b). The total number of acres irrigated by the person under the ground water right and through the use of water delivered from the federal project must not exceed the quantity of water used and number of acres irrigated under the person's water right permit or certificate for the use of water from the aquifer.

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