(1) The Columbia river basin water supply development account is created in the state treasury. The account may receive direct appropriations from the legislature, receipts of any funds pursuant to RCW 90.90.020
, or funds from any other sources. The account is intended to fund projects using tax exempt bonds.
(2)(a) Expenditures from the Columbia river basin water supply development account may be used to assess, plan, and develop new storage, improve or alter operations of existing storage facilities, implement conservation projects, develop pump exchanges, or any other actions designed to provide access to new water supplies within the Columbia river basin for both instream and out-of-stream uses. Except for the development of new storage projects and pump exchanges, there shall be no expenditures from this account for water acquisition or transfers from one water resource inventory area to another without specific legislative authority. For purposes of this chapter, "pump exchanges" means water supply development projects that exchange water from one source to another or relocate an existing diversion downstream, with resulting instream benefit.
(b) Two-thirds of the funds placed in the account shall be used to support the development of new storage facilities and pump exchanges; the remaining one-third shall be used for the other purposes listed in this section.
(3)(a) Funds may not be expended from this account for the construction of a new storage facility until the department of ecology evaluates the following:
(i) Water uses to be served by the facility;
(ii) The quantity of water necessary to meet those uses;
(iii) The benefits and costs to the state of meeting those uses, including short-term and long-term economic, cultural, and environmental effects; and
(iv) Alternative means of supplying water to meet those uses, including the costs of those alternatives and an analysis of the extent to which long-term water supply needs can be met using these alternatives.
(b) The department of ecology may rely on studies and information developed through compliance with other state and federal permit requirements and other sources. The department shall compile its findings and conclusions, and provide a summary of the information it reviewed.
(c) Before finalizing its evaluation under the provisions of this section, the department of ecology shall make the preliminary evaluation available to the public. Public comment may be made to the department within thirty days of the date the preliminary evaluation is made public.
(4) Net water savings achieved through conservation measures funded by the account shall be placed in trust in proportion to the state funding provided to implement a project.
(5) Net water savings achieved through conservation measures funded by the account developed within the boundaries of the federal Columbia river reclamation project and directed to the Odessa subarea to reduce the use of groundwater for existing irrigation is exempt from the provisions of subsection (4) of this section.
(6) The department of ecology may enter into water service contracts with applicants receiving water from the program to recover all or a portion of the cost of developing the water supply. Costs recovered under water service contracts does not include staff time expended by the department on developing the water supply. With the applicant's concurrence, the department may receive power revenue generated by the water supply developed by the department through water service contracts. The department may deny an application if the applicant does not enter into a water service contract. Revenue collected from water service contracts must be deposited into the Columbia river basin water supply revenue recovery account created in RCW 90.90.100
. The department may adopt rules describing the methodology as to how charges will be established and direct costs recovered for water supply developed under the Columbia river basin water supply program. Water service contracts with federal agencies under RCW 90.42.150
are not required to be established by rule.
(7) Moneys in the Columbia river basin water supply development account created in this section may be spent only after appropriation.
(8) Interest earned by deposits in the account will be retained in the account.