(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 email to meet the notice requirements in (b) of this subsection.
(6) RCW 90.14.140
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.