The department is authorized to implement the integrated water resource management plan in the Yakima river basin, through a coordinated effort of affected federal, state, and local agencies and resources, to develop water supply solutions that provide concurrent benefits to both instream and out-of-stream uses, and to address a variety of water resource and ecosystem problems affecting fish passage, habitat functions, and agricultural, municipal, and domestic water supply in the Yakima river basin, consistent with the integrated plan.
(1) Authorized department actions include, but are not limited to:
(a) Accepting funds from any entity, public or private, as necessary to implement the objectives of this chapter;
(b) Assessing, planning, and developing projects under the Yakima river basin integrated water resource management plan, or for any other action designed to provide access to new water supplies within the Yakima river basin, consistent with the integrated plan and including but not limited to: Enhanced water conservation and efficiency measures, water reallocation markets, in-basin surface and groundwater storage facilities, fish passage at existing in-basin reservoirs, structural and operational modifications to existing facilities, habitat protection and restoration, and general watershed enhancements as necessary to implement the objectives of this chapter and the integrated plan; and
(c) Entering into contracts to ensure the effective delivery of water and to provide for the design and construction of facilities necessary to implement the objectives of the integrated plan and this chapter.
(2) Consistent with the integrated plan, the goals and objectives of department actions authorized under this chapter include, but are not limited to:
(a) Protection, mitigation, and enhancement of fish and wildlife through improved water management; improved instream flows; improved water quality; protection, creation, and enhancement of wetlands; improved fish passage, and by other appropriate means of habitat improvement, including the protection and enhancement of natural wetlands, floodplains, and groundwater storage systems;
(b) Improved water availability and reliability, and improved efficiency of water delivery and use, to enhance basin water supplies for agricultural irrigation, municipal, commercial, industrial, domestic, and environmental water uses;
(c) Establishment of more efficient water markets and more effective operational and structural changes to manage variability of water supplies and to prepare for the uncertainties of climate change, including but not limited to the facilitation of water banking, water right transfers, dry year options, the voluntary sale and lease of land, water, or water rights from any entity or individual willing to limit or forego water use on a temporary or permanent basis, and any other innovative water allocation tools used to maximize the utility of existing Yakima river basin water supplies, as long as the establishment and use of these tools is consistent with the integrated plan.
(3) Water supplies secured through the development of new storage facilities or expansion of existing storage facilities made possible with funding from the Yakima integrated plan implementation account, the Yakima integrated plan implementation taxable bond account, and the Yakima integrated plan implementation revenue recovery account must be allocated for out-of-stream uses and to augment instream flows consistent with the Yakima river basin integrated water resource management plan. Water to be made available to benefit out-of-stream uses under this subsection, but not yet appropriated, must be temporarily available to augment instream flows to the extent that it does not impair existing water rights and is consistent with the integrated plan.