(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a board shall operate on a countywide basis or on an area-wide basis in the case of a board with jurisdiction in more than one county or water resource inventory area, and have the following powers, in addition to any other powers granted in this chapter:
(a) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a board may act upon applications for the same kinds of transfers that the department itself is authorized to act upon, including an application to establish a trust water right under chapter 90.38
RCW. A board may not act upon an application for the type of transfer within an irrigation district as described in RCW 90.03.380
(3). If a board receives an application for a transfer between two irrigation districts as described in RCW 90.03.380
(2), the board must, before publication of notice of the application, receive the concurrence specified in that section.
(b) A board may act upon an application to transfer a water right claim filed under chapter 90.14
RCW. In acting upon such an application, the board must make a tentative determination as to the validity and extent of the right, if any, embodied in the claim and may only issue a record of decision regarding a transfer of such a claim to the extent it is tentatively determined to be valid. Neither the board's tentative determination, nor the director's acceptance of such a tentative determination, constitutes an adjudication of the right under RCW 90.03.110
, and such a determination does not preclude or prejudice a subsequent challenge to the validity, priority, or quantity of the right in a general adjudication under those sections.
(c) A board may establish a water right transfer information exchange through which all or part of a water right may be listed for sale or lease. The board may also accept and post notices in the exchange from persons interested in acquiring or leasing water rights from willing sellers.
(d) The director shall assign a representative of the department to provide technical assistance to each board. If requested by the board, the representative shall work with the board as it reviews applications for formal acceptance, prepares draft records of decision, and considers other technical or legal factors affecting the board's development of a final record of decision. A board may request and accept additional technical assistance from the department. A board may also request and accept assistance and support from the county government or governments of the county or counties in which it operates.
(2) The jurisdiction of a board shall not apply within the boundaries of a federal Indian reservation or to lands held in trust for an Indian band, tribe, or nation by the federal government.