ENGROSSED SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL NO. 2932
AS AMENDED BY FREE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
C 295 L 90
State of Washington 51st Legislature 1990 Regular Session
By House Committee on Natural Resources & Parks (originally sponsored by Representatives K. Wilson, Miller, Baugher, Smith, Doty, Valle, Hine and R. Fisher)
Read first time 2/2/90 and referred to Committee on Appropriations.
AN ACT Relating to regional water resource planning; amending RCW 90.54.010 and 90.54.030; adding a new section to chapter 90.54 RCW; creating a new section; and declaring an emergency.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. Section 1, chapter 225, Laws of 1971 ex. sess. and RCW 90.54.010 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The legislature finds that:
utilization of the water resources of this state is necessary to the promotion
of public health and the economic well-being of the state and the preservation
of its natural resources and aesthetic values. ((
The legislature further
finds that the availability of waters of the state is being evaluated by
interests who desire to remove portions thereof from the state in a manner
inconsistent with the public interest of people of the state.)) Although
water is a renewable resource, its supply and availability are becoming
increasingly limited, particularly during summer and fall months and dry years
when demand is greatest. Growth and prosperity have significantly increased
the competition for this limited resource. Adequate water supplies are
essential to meet the needs of the state's growing population and economy. At
the same time instream resources and values must be preserved and protected so
that future generations can continue to enjoy them.
(b) All citizens of Washington share an interest in the proper stewardship of our invaluable water resources. To ensure that available water supplies are managed to best meet both instream and offstream needs, a comprehensive planning process is essential. The people of the state have the unique opportunity to work together to plan and manage our water. Through a comprehensive planning process that includes the state, Indian tribes, local governments, and interested parties, it is possible to make better use of available water supplies and achieve better management of water resources. Through comprehensive planning, conflicts among water users and interests can be reduced or resolved. It is in the best interests of the state that comprehensive water resource planning be given a high priority so that water resources and associated values can be utilized and enjoyed today and protected for tomorrow.
(c) Diverse hydrologic, climatic, cultural, and socioeconomic conditions exist throughout the regions of the state. Water resource issues vary significantly across regions. Comprehensive water resource planning is best accomplished through a regional planning process sensitive to the unique characteristics and issues of each region.
(d) Comprehensive water resource planning must provide interested parties adequate opportunity to participate. Water resource issues are best addressed through cooperation and coordination among the state, Indian tribes, local governments, and interested parties.
(e) The long-term needs of the state require ongoing assessment of water availability, use, and demand. A thorough inventory of available resources is essential to water resource management. Current state water resource data and data management is inadequate to meet changing needs and respond to competing water demands. Therefore, a state water resource data program is needed to support an effective water resource management program. Efforts should be made to coordinate and consolidate into one resource data system all relevant information developed by the department of ecology and other agencies relating to the use, protection, and management of the state's water resources.
It is the purpose of this chapter to set forth fundamentals of water resource
policy for the state to insure that waters of the state are protected and fully
utilized for the greatest benefit to the people of the state of Washington and,
in relation thereto, to provide direction to the department of ecology ((
other state agencies and officials, and local government in carrying out
water and related resources programs. It is the intent of the legislature
to work closely with the executive branch, Indian tribes, local government, and
interested parties to ensure that water resources of the state are wisely
Sec. 2. Section 3, chapter 225, Laws of 1971 ex. sess. as amended by section 4, chapter 47, Laws of 1988 and RCW 90.54.030 are each amended to read as follows:
purpose of ((
insuring)) ensuring that the department is fully
advised in relation to the performance of the water resources program provided
in RCW 90.54.040, and to provide information and support to (( the
fact-finding service and)) the joint select committee established in RCW (( 90.54.022
and)) 90.54.024, the department is directed to become informed with regard
to all phases of water and related resources of the state. To accomplish this
objective the department shall:
(1) Develop a comprehensive water resource data program that provides the information necessary for effective planning and management on a regional and state-wide basis. The data program shall include an information management plan describing the data requirements for effective water resource planning, and a system for collecting and providing access to water resource data on a regional and state-wide basis. The water resource data program shall also include a resource inventory and needs assessment pursuant to subsection (5) of this section;
(2) Collect, organize and catalog existing information and studies available to it from all sources, both public and private, pertaining to water and related resources of the state;
(3) Develop such additional data and studies pertaining to water and
related resources as are necessary to accomplish the objectives of this
Determine existing and foreseeable uses of, and needs for, such waters and
(4) Develop alternate courses of action to solve existing and foreseeable problems of water and related resources and include therein, to the extent feasible, the economic and social consequences of each such course, and the impact on the natural environment;
(5) Establish a water resources data management task force to evaluate data management needs, advise the joint select committee on water resource policy, the legislature, and the department in developing an information management plan, and conduct a water resource inventory and needs assessment. The task force shall include representatives of appropriate state agencies, Indian tribes, local governments, and interested parties. The task force shall include expertise in both water resources and resource data management. The task force shall make recommendations to the department on developing a data base for water resource planning throughout the state. In conducting the water resource inventory and needs assessment, the task force shall oversee the inventory of existing data and determine what additional data is needed for effective water resource planning and management. The task force shall otherwise provide continuing guidance to the joint select committee on water resource policy, the legislature, and the department in developing and maintaining an effective information management plan. The department shall coordinate the water resource data program to provide water resource information that meets the needs of the comprehensive water resources program and planning process provided for in RCW 90.54.040;
(6) Prior to September 1, 1990, provide a report to the chairs of the appropriate legislative committees based on the preliminary findings and recommendations of the water resources data management task force. The report shall document the current information flows and data collection processes for state water resources data, and shall include an analysis of task force recommendations for developing additional information to meet water resource data needs. The report shall further include an estimate of funding requirements to implement the water resources data program for consideration in future biennial budget decisions;
(7) Prior to implementation of any preliminary findings and recommendations pursuant to subsection (6) of this section, and contingent on legislative appropriation, develop a five-year plan for data collection and information management approved by the department of information services. Commencing July 1, 1991, the department shall provide annual reports to the chairs of the appropriate legislative committees on the development and implementation of the five-year plan and progress toward completion of the water resource inventory and needs assessment; and
(8) Establish pursuant to task force recommendations a process to resolve technical issues in the development and implementation of the water resource inventory and needs assessment.
foregoing shall be included in a "water resources ((
system" established and maintained by the department. The department
shall develop a system of cataloging, storing and retrieving the information
and studies of the (( archive)) information system so that they
may be made readily available to and effectively used not only by the
department but by the public generally.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. A new section is added to chapter 90.54 RCW to read as follows:
(1) In the development and implementation of the comprehensive state water resources program required in RCW 90.54.040(1), the process described therein shall involve participation of appropriate state agencies, Indian tribes, local governments, and interested parties, and shall be applied on a regional basis pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.
(2) Prior to January 1, 1991, the department, with advice from appropriate state agencies, Indian tribes, local government, and interested parties, shall identify regions and establish regional boundaries for water resource planning and shall designate two regions in which the process shall be initiated on a pilot basis. One region shall encompass an area within the Puget Sound basin in which critical water resource issues exist. A concurrent pilot process may encompass a region east of the Cascade mountains.
(3) The department shall report to the chairs of the appropriate legislative committees prior to July 1st each year summarizing the progress of the pilot process in the two regions. The pilot process in each region shall be completed and shall produce a regional water plan by December 31, 1993.
(4) Appropriate state agencies, Indian tribes, local governments, and interested parties in regions not selected for the pilot program are strongly encouraged to commence water resource planning within their regions.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. If specific funding for the purposes of this act, referencing this act by bill number, is not provided by June 30, 1990, in the omnibus appropriations act, this act shall be null and void.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. 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 shall take effect immediately.