For the purpose of ensuring that the department is fully advised in relation to the performance of the water resources program provided in RCW 90.54.040
, 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 statewide 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 statewide basis;
(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 chapter; 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.
All the foregoing shall be included in a "water resources information system" established and maintained by the department. The department shall develop a system of cataloging, storing and retrieving the information and studies of the information system so that they may be made readily available to and effectively used not only by the department but by the public generally.